U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents seized more than 13 pounds of narcotics concealed within everyday objects in unrelated incidents earlier this week.
The first event began as agents with CBP’s Office of Field Operations working at the Columbus port of entry recommended a 2000 Dodge Neon with one adult and two children for an inspection. During a routine examination of the car with the use of a narcotics-detecting canine unit, the dogs alerted the agents to six dreamcatchers in the vehicle. After examining the dreamcatchers, the agents discovered they were made of rubber tubing filled with 1.6 pounds of liquid methamphetamine. The driver was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations for processing, while the children were remanded to the custody of a relative.
“This is one of the most unusual smuggling episodes we have ever encountered,” CBP Columbus Port Director Robert Reza said. “Smugglers will try to conceal their drug loads in everyday items like soft drink cans, framed artwork and other seemingly innocent items. CBP utilizes numerous inspection techniques that help identify and stop these shipments.”
The second incident occurred as border agents with the El Centro Sector – Indio Station stopped a 1988 Jeep Wrangler for inspection. When a canine unit alerted the officers to suspicious activity within the vehicle, the officers found anomalies in the vehicle’s transmission case. Agents then discovered five plastic-wrapped bundles of narcotics, weighing approximately 12.25 pounds. Two of the bundles tested positive for heroin while the other three tested positive for cocaine. The driver, a citizen of the United States, was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for processing.
“The highly trained and professional Agents of the United States Border Patrol were able to stop these narcotics from entering the local illicit drug market,” Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David S. Kim said. “Their dedication to stopping criminal activities makes our society much safer.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of the nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry.