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Monday, June 25, 2012

More Than $2 Million in Hard Narcotics Seized at the Calexico Downtown Port in One Week


Calexico Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Calexico downtown port of entry intercepted seven hard narcotic smuggling attempts in one week, preventing 136 pounds of methamphetamine and cocaine from entering the United States. The total street value of the seized narcotics is approximately $2,013,000. 

Four of the seven seizures that were significant in concealments are highlighted below.

The first seizure occurred last Wednesday, June 13, at about 9:20 p.m. when a 34-year old female United States citizen driving a black 2003 Nissan Maxima was escorted to secondary after officers detected anomalies with the vehicle’s gas tank.

During the intensive examination, a detector dog screened the vehicle and alerted. Officers searched the vehicle and discovered 25 wrapped packages of methamphetamine, weighing 30 pounds, hidden inside the gas tank. The methamphetamine has a street value of approximately $450,000. 

The driver, a resident of El Centro, was arrested for the alleged smuggling attempt.

The second seizure occurred the following day, Thursday, June 14, at about 2:15 p.m. when a canine team screening vehicles and travelers referred an 18-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a white 1998 Acura for further examination.

CBP officers conducted an intensive examination and discovered 17 wrapped packages of methamphetamine concealed inside the vehicle’s gas tank. The weight of the narcotic was 27 pounds with a street value of approximately $405,000.

The driver, a resident of Mexicali, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.

The third significant seizure occurred over the weekend on Saturday, June 16, at about 6:00 a.m. when CBP officers conducting inspections of vehicles and travelers targeted a black 1993 Toyota Camry for further inspection. During the inspection, a density meter was utilized which revealed anomalies to one of the rear passenger tires; a detector dog alerted to one of the tires as well. 

Both driver and vehicle were escorted to secondary for further examination.

CBP officers utilized X-ray equipment and discovered 40 pounds of liquid methamphetamine concealed inside a plastic hose that wrapped around the wheel rim. The street value of the drug is estimated at $600,000.

The driver, a resident of Mexicali, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.

The fourth seizure occurred on Tuesday, June 19, at about 7:30 p.m. when a CBP officer referred a 23-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a green 1997 Ford Explorer for further examination.

Using a canine and X-ray equipment, CBP officers found three bags of methamphetamine concealed inside the vehicle’s battery. The weight of the methamphetamine was three pounds with a street value of approximately $45,000.

The driver, a resident of Holtville, California, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.

“These significant narcotic seizures are examples of the remarkable job Calexico CBP officers do everyday to prevent contraband from entering the country,” said Port Director Billy Whitford.

The drivers were all turned over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who in turn booked them into the Imperial County Jail.

CBP seized the narcotics and vehicles.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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