Calexico, California - Tuesday, U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Calexico station seized a 2006 Chevy Suburban and arrested seven individuals attempting to smuggle approximately 257 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated value of more than $154,000 near the intersection of Highway 98 and Interstate 8.

The incident occurred at approximately 10:00 p.m., when Border Patrol agents observed five suspected illegal aliens approach the International Boundary fence carrying large packages on their backs from Mexico.  The subjects crossed over the fence into the U.S. and ran north towards Interstate 8 and Greys Wells Rd.

Border Patrol agents observed a blue Suburban pull over to the shoulder of the westbound lanes of Interstate 8.  The individuals with the packages approached the vehicle and began to place them in the vehicle. 

When agents responded to the area the driver of the vehicle drive westbound away from the area.  Awaiting agents successfully deployed a Controlled Tire Deflation Device (CTDD) deflating two tires.  The vehicle then came to a stop approximately 200 yards after passing over the CTDD.

Agents discovered 10 individually wrapped packages of marijuana weighing 257.83 pounds with an estimated street value of $154,000.   Five of the men arrested are Mexican citizens illegally present in the United States.

The driver, a 28-year-old female and her 27-year-old female passenger, were identified as citizens of Mexico in possession of Mexican passports and B1/B2 visas. 

All seven suspects and the marijuana were transported back to the Calexico Station for processing and later turned over to the custody of Imperial County Sherriff’s Office High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.

The El Centro Sector’s Community Awareness Campaign is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness on the indicators of crime and other threats.   We encourage public and private sector employees to remain vigilant and play a key role in keeping our country safe.   Please report any suspicious activity to the Border Community Threat Hotline at 1-800-901-2003.