From the daily archives: Monday, January 24, 2011

CALEXICO, Calif. —  U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico downtown port of entry seized over $700,000 worth of narcotics within a two hour time span last Thursday, January 20th.
The first seizure occurred at about 10:15 a.m., after officers with the port’s Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team (A-TCET) arrested a 28-year old male U.S. citizen after they found 393 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle he was driving.
A-TCET officers conducting enforcement operations encountered the driver of a white Ford F-250 truck as he waited in line for inspection. A detector dog alerted to the vehicle, so both driver and vehicle were escorted for further examination.
During the inspection, officers utilized a density reader on the auxiliary tank located on the bed of the pick-up.  Officers subsequently discovered 60 wrapped packages of marijuana concealed inside the tank valued at $393,000.
The driver, a resident of Mexicali, Baja California, was turned over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for further investigation.
The second seizure occurred 35 minutes later;  officers with the A-TCET escorted a 26-year-old male U. S. citizen for further inspection after a detector dog alerted to his vehicle as he waited in line to enter the U.S.
During the inspection, the driver was instructed to exit the silver Toyota Corolla.  As the driver exited the vehicle, an officer detected what appeared to be a large package concealed in the man’s rear waistband.  Officers field tested the contents of the package which tested positive for Heroin.  The weight of the narcotic was three pounds with a street value of approximately $51,000.
CBP officers arrested the driver, a resident of Calexico, California and transferred him to the custody of ICE agents.
The third seizure occurred at about 12:30 p.m. when a CBP officer conducting inspections of travelers referred a 54-year-old male U.S. citizen to the secondary inspection area for further inspection.
A canine unit screened the Corolla which led officers to the discovery of 15 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside a non-factory compartment in the vehicle’s rear floor area.  The weight of the narcotic was 39 pounds with an estimated street value of $312,000.
The driver, a resident of San Diego, California was arrested and turned over to the custody of ICE agents.
In all three incidents, the drivers were transported to the Imperial Country jail where they await arraignment.
CBP seized the vehicles and narcotics.

Holtville, California – The 20th Annual Rib Cook-Off Extravaganza hosted by the Holtville Athletic Club will take place in Holtville, California. This year’s event is scheduled one weekend prior to the Super Bowl. This Rib Cook-Off promises be the biggest in History. Organizers are preparing for a crowd that will approach 15,000 by reserving 12,000 pounds of fresh pork ribs, and making preparations to serve 250 gallons of Old Fashion homemade ice cream for the single day event.
This year’s marquee event will have prizes and awards that will top $ 10,000.00. The top prize of $ 1,000.00 will go to the judge’s choice for best BBQ Ribs. Additional categories include best side dish, homemade pie, and best booth contest.
With all net proceeds of the event earmarked to benefit area youth activity education and athletic groups, the majority of the 600 event volunteers are comprised of area athletic, youth organization, and educational groups and their leaders.
Three bands have will be performing live at the Rib Cook-Off: Jessica Erin from Los Angeles, Safety Orange from San Diego and local favorite Los Outpatients on the main stage.
The non-profit organization The Holtville Athletic Club has become a major benefactor to Imperial County organizations and causes. The 28 member group is primarily known by the Rib Cook-Off and it’s ambassador Old Fashion Ice Cream machine capable of turning out in excess of 40 Gallons an hour of delicious old fashioned ice cream. Since inception the Holtville Athletic Club’s mission has been to financially assist regional youth groups and athletic activities through non-profit fund raising efforts. The efforts include member’s personal commitments to the organization as well as seeking corporate assistance. The Holtville Athletic Club’s future will be guaranteed by the continued dedication of volunteers and the future presence of deserving sports associations, students, and local children. Today’s beneficiaries will become tomorrow’s volunteers just as today’s volunteers were yesterday’s beneficiaries. Evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of dollars and in like kind work put into the local communities by the organization.
Major event sponsors include:
KXO Radio, IID,  Fox 9, LaBrucherie Irrigation Supply, ABC 5, ATT, KYMA News Channel 11, and Telemundo.

For additional information please visit


Pine Valley, Calif. — Today, Border Patrol agents working at the Border Patrol checkpoint in Pine Valley arrested a 43-year-old male Mexican national and a 57-year-old female Mexican national, both legally present in the U.S., for smuggling more than 10 pounds of cocaine.

Agents encountered the couple as they arrived at the checkpoint at approximately 8 a.m., driving a 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 truck. As agents questioned the driver, his inconsistent answers and nervous demeanor prompted agents to refer him to a secondary inspection area.

click for hi-res
Cocaine packages were hidden in the truck's oil pan.
Cocaine packages were hidden in the truck’s oil pan.

In the secondary inspection area, a Border Patrol K-9 team performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle resulting in a positive alert to the undercarriage. Agents noticed signs of recent tampering with the oil pan and dismantled it. An aftermarket compartment was discovered containing four packages of cocaine weighing 10.8 pounds with an estimated street value of $108,000.

Additionally, the K-9 team alerted to a bag inside the vehicle containing $400 and 5,100 Mexican Pesos, equivalent to approximately $422.69.

The suspected smuggler, his passenger, and the illicit drugs were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Dodge Ram 1500 and currency were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

To prevent illicit smuggling of humans, drugs and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on major corridors of egress away from our nation’s borders.

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