Imperial Valley, California – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Imperial Valley ports of entry stopped approximately $1.3 million worth of hard narcotics from entering the U.S.
The first incident occurred at about 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, at the Calexico downtown port of entry. A CBP officer inspecting vehicles and travelers referred a 42-year-old female Mexican citizen driving a 2003 Chrysler P.T. Cruiser for further examination after the officer noticed anomalies to the gas tank.
During the intensive examination, a canine team screened the vehicle and the canine alerted to the gas tank. CBP officers subsequently discovered 30 wrapped packages of methamphetamine floating inside the tank. The total weight of the narcotic was 39 pounds with a street value of approximately $429,000.
CBP officers arrested the driver, a resident of Mexicali, Baja Calif., for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
The second incident occurred at about 7:15 p.m. on Sunday, May 8, also at the downtown port of entry. CBP officers with the port’s Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team (A-TCET) were screening vehicles when they escorted a 31-year-old female and a 30-year-old male in a blue Mitsubishi Eclipse for further examination after an officer detected anomalies to the vehicle’s quarter panels.
During a closer inspection of the vehicle that included a canine screening, CBP officers found 25 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside the rear quarter panels. The weight of the narcotic was 61 pounds with a street value of approximately $549,000.
CBP officers arrested the couple, both U.S. citizens and residents of Indio, Calif., for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
The third incident occurred at about 8:00 a.m. yesterday, at the Andrade port of entry. An officer conducting inspections of vehicles and travelers entering the U.S. referred the driver, a 22-year-old male U.S. citizen, for further examination after the officer detected suspicious behavior.
During an intensive inspection of the Ford Mustang that included a canine screening, CBP officers found 16 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside a non-factory compartment underneath the vehicle’s rear seat. The weight of the narcotic was 43 pounds, with a street value of approximately $387,000.
CBP officers arrested the driver, a resident of Yuma, Ariz., for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
In all three incidents, CBP seized the narcotics and vehicles and turned the violators over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. The subjects will be transported to jail facilities where they will await arraignment.
CBP placed an immigration hold on the Mexican citizen to initiate removal from the U.S. at the conclusion of her criminal proceedings.