CALEXICO, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at both Calexico ports of entry discovered a cumulative total of 162 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside of a gas tank, dashboard, back seat, quarter panels, and in the floor of various vehicles over the span of three days.
The first incident occurred on Sunday, Oct. 7, when CBP officers working at the downtown Calexico port of entry encountered an 18-year-old female U.S. citizen driving a 2005 Ford Explorer. While conducting a primary inspection, an officer detected anomalies in the Explorer’s gas tank and referred both the driver and vehicle to the inspection lot for a more in-depth examination.
Officers utilized the port’s imaging system and a canine team to search the vehicle and found 44 wrapped packages containing a total of 53 pounds of methamphetamine concealed inside the gas tank. The narcotics have an estimated street value of more than $132,500.
The driver, a resident of Coachella, was arrested for the alleged narcotics smuggling attempt.
The second incident occurred at the Calexico East port of entry on Monday, Oct. 8, when a CBP officer referred a 2016 Toyota Corolla driven by a 33-year-old female U.S. citizen and her 30-year-old U.S. citizen passenger for a more intensive inspection.
CBP officers screened the Corolla through the port’s imaging system and detected anomalies throughout the interior. Officers searched the vehicle and discovered a total of 54 wrapped packages of methamphetamine hidden in the dashboard, back seats and quarter panels.
The methamphetamine weighed a total weight of about 60 pounds with a street value of approximately $150,000.
The driver, a resident of Lynwood, and passenger, a resident of Los Angeles, both were arrested for the alleged narcotics smuggling attempt.
On Oct. 9, CBP officers encountered a 35-year-old male Mexican citizen after he arrived at the downtown Calexico port of entry driving a 2002 BMW 325i sedan.
A CBP canine team screened the BMW and the detector dog alerted to the undercarriage area. CBP officers proceeded to search the vehicle and discovered 13 wrapped packages of methamphetamine inside of a non-factory compartment built into the floor. Forty-nine pounds of narcotics were extracted from the compartment, yielding an estimated street value of approximately $122,500.
The driver, a legal permanent resident of the U.S. and resident of Imperial, was arrested for the alleged narcotics smuggling attempt.
Following their arrests, each of the drivers and passenger were turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigation agents for further processing, and were ultimately transported to the Imperial County Jail.
CBP seized the narcotics and vehicles.
CBP officers at the border crossings in Southern California routinely stop illegal activity, while processing millions of legitimate travelers into the United States.
Press Release Provided By the US Border Patrol