Calexico CBP Officers Foil Attempts to Smuggle Almost $1.3 Million Worth of Hard Narcotics

Calexico, California - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico downtown port of entry Sunday seized a combined total of about $1.3 million worth of cocaine and crystal methamphetamine during two separate incidents.

The first incident occurred shortly before 11:00 a.m. on February 9, when CBP officers encountered a 32-year-old male driver and his 29-year-old female passenger after they arrived at the port in a 2007 Chrysler Sebring.

A CBP canine team screened the vehicle and the detector dog alerted to the passenger-side rocker panel. Officers escorted the vehicle and occupants to a secure area for further investigation.

During an intensive inspection of the vehicle, officers discovered 30 wrapped packages of crystal methamphetamine concealed inside hidden compartments built into both rocker panels.

The total weight of the methamphetamine was approximately 38 pounds with a street value of more than $730,000.

CBP officers arrested the driver and passenger, both Mexican citizens and residents of Mexicali, Baja California, and turned them over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further processing.

The second incident occurred later in the afternoon, at about 2:40 p.m., when a CBP canine team was screening vehicles as they waited in line for inspection. The detector dog alerted to a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe and officers referred the SUV and driver, a 38-year-old female Mexican citizen, for further examination.

During the inspection, officers discovered 20 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside the front and rear quarter panels of the vehicle.

A total weight of 55 pounds of cocaine was removed from the SUV, with an estimated street value of about $550,000.

The woman, a resident of Monterrey Park, California, was arrested and turned over to the custody of HSI agents for further processing.

CBP placed an immigration hold on the three subjects to initiate removal from the United States at the conclusion of their criminal proceedings.

CBP seized the vehicles and narcotics.

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