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Border officers in San Diego and Imperial Valley seize $8.3 million in narcotics


U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry along the California/ Mexico border seized almost 842 pounds of narcotics valued at $8.3 million over the busy holiday weekend.

From 6 a.m. on Thursday through 6 a.m. on Sunday, CBP officers at the six land ports of entry intercepted 15 smuggling attempts involving fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. The drugs were hidden in various areas of the vehicles such as in the gas tank, trunk, battery, floor, quarter panels and the tires.

“CBP officers assist in facilitating lawful trade and travel 24 hours a day 7 days a week,” said Pete Flores, Director of Field Operations for CBP in San Diego. “Apprehensions such as these showcase the determination and vigilance CBP officers exude while protecting America’s borders.”

Some significant seizures are listed below.

On Saturday, Nov. 11, at about 12:45 p.m., CBP officers at the San Ysidro port of entry encountered a 53-year-old male Mexican citizen and B1/B2 visa holder driving a 1999 Ford Expedition. The CBP officer referred the man and vehicle for further inspection.

Officers conducted an intensive examination that included the use of a canine unit. After the canine alerted to the middle seat inside the vehicle, officers discovered ten wrapped packages of fentanyl in a non-factory compartment in the floor. The weight of the narcotics was 23 pounds with an estimated street value of approximately $736,000.

On Sunday, Nov. 12 at about 8 p.m., CBP officers at the San Ysidro port of entry encountered a 56-year-old male Mexican citizen and B1/B2 visa holder driving a white 1995 commercial bus. CBP officers inspected the bus as it waited in line for inspection and observed some discrepancies with the gas tank. CBP officers referred the bus and driver for a more in-depth inspection.

CBP officers removed 78 wrapped packages of cocaine from the gas tank, with a weight of 382 pounds. The cocaine has an estimated street value of $4.9 million.

All persons were arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for further processing.

CBP officers seized the vehicles and narcotics.  CBP officers at ports of entry around the nation seized more than 950 pounds of fentanyl this fiscal year.

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