Border Protection foils seven drug-smuggling attempts worth $2 million
June 23rd 2012 · 2 Comments
CALEXICO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted seven narcotic smuggling attempts in one week at the downtown Port of Entry here, according to a press release.
The methamphetamine and cocaine seizures totaled 136 pounds and had an estimated street value of $2 million.
“These significant seizures are examples of the remarkable job Calexico CBP officers do every day to prevent contraband from entering the country,” Port Director Billy Whitford wrote in the release.
Four of the seven seizures were significant for their concealment methods.
The first happened around 9:20 p.m. June 13 when officers detected anomalies with a black 2003 Nissan Maxima’s gas tank, and its driver, a 34-year-old female U.S. citizen and El Centro resident, was referred to secondary inspection.
A detector dog helped officers find 25 wrapped packages of methamphetamine weighing a total of 30 pounds and estimated to be worth about $450,000 hidden in the gas tank.
The second seizure occurred around 2:15 p.m. June 14, when a canine team referred an 18-year-old male U.S. citizen and Mexicali resident driving a white 1998 Acura for further examination.
Officers found 17 wrapped packages of methamphetamine weighing 27 pounds and estimated to be worth about $405,000 in the car’s gas tank.
A third significant seizure happened around 6 a.m. Saturday when a black 1993 Toyota Camry driven by a Mexicali resident was targeted for further inspection, and officers subsequently found anomalies to a rear passenger tire with the use of a density meter and detector dog.
Forty pounds of liquid methamphetamine in a plastic hose wrapped around a wheel rim was found through the use of X-ray equipment. It’s estimated to be worth around $600,000.
The fourth seizure happened around 7:30 p.m., Tuesday when a 23-year-old male Mexican citizen and Holtville resident driving a green 1997 Ford Explorer was referred for further examination.
CBP officers found three bags of methamphetamine weighing a total of three pounds and estimated to be worth about $45,000 in the car’s battery using a canine and X-ray equipment.
All the drivers were arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempts and turned over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who booked them into Imperial County jail.
Customs and Border Protection seized the narcotics and vehicles.
A version of this column originally appeared in www.ivpressonline.com.
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