Calexico, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico ports of entry seized $818,813 in undeclared U.S. currency and 155 pounds of hard narcotics in three unrelated incidents this week.
The first incident occurred at about 9:15 p.m. on Monday, June 20, at the Calexico East port of entry when a 37-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a white 2004 Toyota Tundra pick-up truck was escorted to secondary for further examination after a canine alerted to his vehicle.
An intensive inspection led officers to the discovery of 28 wrapped packages of heroin concealed between the dashboard and engine area of the truck. The weight of the heroin was 75 pounds with a street value of approximately $1,275,000.
The driver, a resident of Mexicali, Baja California, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
The second incident occurred the following day at about 12:40 p.m. at the Calexico downtown port of entry when officers with the port’s Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team were conducting inspections of outbound vehicles and stopped a 47-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a white 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser.
During the secondary inspection, an intensive examination that included the use of x-ray imaging system and a detector dog led officers to the discovery of 31 wrapped bundles of undeclared currency hidden inside a specially built compartment in the roof of the Cruiser. A total of $818,813 in U.S. currency was retrieved.
The driver, a resident of Imperial, California, was arrested for attempting to conceal currency with intent to evade reporting requirements.
The third incident occurred at about 5 a.m. this morning at the Calexico downtown port of entry when a canine team screening vehicles and travelers alerted to a grey 2006 Ford F-150 pick-up truck as the driver waited in line for inspection. The driver, a 26-year-old male U.S. citizen, and vehicle were escorted to secondary for further examination.
An intensive inspection that included utilization of an x-ray system, led officers to the discovery of 32 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside non-factory metal compartments in all four tires of the pick-up. The weight of the narcotic was 80 pounds with a street value of approximately $720,000.
CBP officers placed the driver, a resident of Heber, California, under arrest for the alleged importation of narcotics into the U.S.
In all three incidents, the drivers were turned over to the custody of U.S. Homeland Security Investigators and transported to the Imperial County Jail where they await arraignment.
CBP seized the narcotics, currency and vehicles.