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October 16, 09

NEWS / California Port Officers Thwart 3 Narcotic Smuggling Attempts within 2 Days


Calexico, Calif. ó U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico, Calif. downtown port of entry earlier this week made three significant narcotics seizures worth more than a half million dollars, officials announced today.


The first seizure occurred on Tuesday at about 1 p.m. Officers with the portís Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team were conducting a pre-primary enforcement operation when they encountered a 25-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a silver 2005 GMC Sierra pick-up as he waited in line for inspection. During the interview, inconsistencies with the driverís story resulted in the officers escorting the driver to secondary for further examination.


An intensive inspection, including the utilization of X-ray equipment, resulted in the detection of anomalies that led to the discovery of 16 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed within the sides of the pick-up bed. The weight of the cocaine was 38 pounds with a street value of $342,000.


CBP officers arrested the driver, a permanent resident of Calexico, California, for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt and transferred him to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for further investigation.


The second seizure occurred later in the day, at about 7 p.m. when officers conducting a pre-primary enforcement operation encountered a 33-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a brown 1994 Ford Explorer. The detector dog screened the vehicle and immediately alerted to the presence of narcotics. The driver was then escorted to the secondary inspectional area for further examination.


An intensive inspection and usage of an X-ray imaging system led to the discovery of 12 wrapped packages of marijuana concealed inside all four tires of the vehicle. The weight of the narcotic was 91 pounds with a street value of $82,600.


CBP officers arrested the driver, a resident of Mexicali, Baja California, for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt and turned him over to the custody of ICE agents for further processing.


The third seizure occurred yesterday at about 3 p.m., when port officers arrested a 48-year-old male United States citizen who attempted to smuggle 28 pounds of cocaine concealed in a grey 2007 Chevy Malibu he was driving.


The driver, who was waiting in line to be inspected, was escorted to the secondary examination area after a detector dog alerted to the vehicle during a pre-primary enforcement operation.


An intensive physical inspection of the vehicle led officers to the discovery of 11 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside a non-factory compartment in the vehicleís dashboard area. The weight of the narcotics was 28 pounds with a street value of $252,000.


The driver, a resident of Huntington Park, California, was turned over to the custody of ICE agents for further investigation.


CBP placed immigration holds on both Mexican citizens to initiate removal from the United States at the conclusion of their criminal proceedings.


CBP officers in all three incidents seized the narcotics and vehicles.

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/10152009_4.xml


 




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