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Thursday, March 4th, 2021

Imperial Valley border patrol officers intercept three narcotic smuggling attempts worth over $1.2M

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Andrade and Calexico West ports of entry intercepted this past weekend three attempts to smuggle cocaine and methamphetamine valued at more than $1.2 million.

At about 5:07 p.m. on April 20, a CBP officer encountered an 81-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a gray 2000 Ford Expedition at the Andrade port of entry. The officer referred both the driver and vehicle for further examination.

During the inspection, a canine unit alerted to the vehicle, and officers found 91 wrapped packages of methamphetamine hidden in locations throughout the vehicle’s doors, gas tank, and spare tire.

The narcotics weighed a total of approximately 108 pounds and had a street value of approximately $270,000.

The driver, a resident of Yuma, Arizona, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.

On April 21 at about 3:20 p.m., an officer encountered a 23-year-old male Mexican citizen in a white 2017 Renault Duster at the Andrade port. A canine team alerted to the vehicle, and officers referred the driver and vehicle to secondary inspection.

During the secondary inspection, officers, with the help of a canine team, found 35 wrapped packages of methamphetamine and 26 packages of cocaine hidden in a non-factory compartment in the cargo area of the vehicle.

The officers approximately 47 pounds of methamphetamine and 69 pounds of cocaine with a combined estimated street value of $892,500.

The driver, a resident of Los Algodones, Baja California, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.

At about 10:07 p.m. on the same day a CBP officer encountered a 44-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a 1999 Dodge Dakota at the Calexico West port of entry. The CBP officer referred the driver and vehicle to the secondary inspection area.

The officers used the port’s imaging system and a canine team to search the vehicle and found 48 wrapped packages of methamphetamine in the quarter panels of the vehicle.

The narcotics weighed approximately 54 pounds and had a street value of approximately $135,000.

All drivers were turned over to Homeland Security Investigation agents for further processing and were later transported to the Imperial County Jail where they await arraignment. CBP seized the narcotics and vehicles.