San Diego — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers over the weekend at crossings along the California/Mexico border seized 620 pounds of narcotics valued at more than $1.3 million, apprehended eight fugitives, and stopped the illegal entry of more than 250 inadmissible aliens.
On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday CBP officers intercepted 620 pounds of cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana hidden in various places in vehicles such as in the rocker panels, tires, and bumpers as well as strapped to individual’s bodies.
A large marijuana seizure occurred on Sunday, January 16 about 10 p.m., at the Otay Mesa passenger port of entry after an officer noticed anomalies with the tire of a 1994 Ford F-150 pickup truck. A detector dog alerted to the truck, driven by a 50-year-old male U.S. citizen.
Officers inspected the vehicle and found wrapped packages of marijuana in all four tires. They extracted 20 packages, weighing 182 pounds, valued at almost $110,000. The woman was arrested. CBP officers seized the vehicle and marijuana.
A significant seizure occurred at the Calexico downtown border station on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. after officers encountered a 25-year-old female Mexican citizen driving a 2002 Ford explorer that was referred for a more intensive inspection.
During the inspection, officers discovered 17 packages of cocaine weighing 80 pounds in the spare tire. The woman was arrested. CBP seized the vehicle and cocaine.
Officers also apprehended eight fugitives trying to enter the United States with active felony warrants for crimes such as burglary, larceny, and for dangerous drug offenses.
One of the fugitives, 33-year-old Jesus Fabian a U.S citizen, was wanted for homicide by the Sacramento Police Department. Fabian entered the Andrade port of entry on Sunday evening at 6 p.m. as a pedestrian and was referred for further inspection.
Through fingerprint identification, officers confirmed that he was wanted; he was turned over to the custody Imperial County Sheriff’s deputies.
In addition, officers working the six ports of entry along the California/Mexico border caught more than 250 other persons trying to illegally enter the United States, either by using counterfeit documents, legitimate documents that did not belong to them, or by trying to evade inspection altogether, such as by hiding in the trunk of a car or in a hidden compartment.
Also on Sunday at the San Ysidro port of entry, a 19-year-old male U.S. citizen, and resident of San Diego, driving a silver 2000 Dodge Intrepid approached the officer at the booth for inspection before entering the United States.
During the inspection, the CBP officer noticed a discrepancy between the vehicle’s rear seat and the trunk area. After pulling down the seat’s back rest, the CBP officer discovered a person hiding in a small compartment created with a piece of wood in between the rear seat and the trunk.
The person found hidden in the compartment is a female citizen of China, with no legal ability to enter the United States. She will remain in the United States as a material witness in the case before being returned to China.
The driver will face criminal charges and is currently being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.