U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers along the California/Mexico border over the weekend seized more than $4 million in narcotics and unreported currency.
CBP officers at the six land ports intercepted 19 smuggling attempts involving marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine, and heroin. The drugs were hidden in various areas of the vehicles such as in the gas tank, in the bumpers, quarter panels and the tires.
The first seizure occurred on Friday, December 7, at about 9:00 a.m. at the Otay Mesa port of entry when officers arrested a 24-year-old male U.S. citizen after they found 142 pounds of marijuana hidden in the vehicle he was driving.
Officers subsequently discovered 24 wrapped packages concealed inside all four tires of the vehicle. The estimated street value of the narcotic is approximately $213,000.
The second seizure occurred approximately four hours later when a CBP referred a 56-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a 1998 Freightliner tractor. Further examination resulted in the discovery of 20 bricks of marijuana hidden underneath a shipment of ornamental stones. The weight of the marijuana was 637 pounds with a street value of approximately $955,500.
The third seizure occurred on Saturday, December 8, when more than $383,561 in unreported U.S. currency was discovered.
A white 2007 Dodge Caliber, driven by a 23-year-old male U.S. citizen, was found to contain eight vacuum sealed packages of money concealed inside the gas tank.
The fourth seizure occurred on Sunday, December 9. A detector dog alerted to the engine of a vehicle that led officers to the discovery of 13 wrapped packages of cocaine, concealed inside the radiator. The weight of the narcotic was 39 pounds with a street value of approximately $468,000.
In all four narcotic incidents, the drivers were transported to local jail facilities where they await arraignment.