U.S. Border Patrol agents of San Diego Sector arrested a 23 year old female Mexican citizen with more than 140 pounds of narcotics hidden inside her car last week. The narcotics and subject were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the vehicle was seized by the Border Patrol.
On January 24, at approximately 5:50 p.m., Border Patrol agents assigned to the San Clemente Station were conducting highway interdiction duties on Interstate 5 when they conducted a vehicle stop on a gray 2016 Nissan Versa.
The driver consented to a search of the vehicle by a Border Patrol K-9 team.
The Border Patrol K-9 alerted to the vehicle.
Agents conducted a search of the interior compartments and discovered multiple packages of suspected narcotics concealed under the floorboard.
Agents removed a total of 57 packages of suspected narcotics. The substances in the packages tested positive for cocaine, fentanyl, and heroin.
There were 34 packages of cocaine weighing approximately 87 pounds, 19 packages of fentanyl weighing approximately 44 pounds, and four packages of heroin weighing approximately nine pounds.
“The narcotics have a street value of more than $2,250,000,” said Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott, who commended the agents on their historic drug seizure.
“The fentanyl seizure in itself was the largest in San Diego to date.”
“This preceded the recent Nogales Port of Entry 254 pound fentanyl seizure, which was the largest in CBP History.”
That seizure, recovered from a Mexican national when he attempted to enter the United States at the Nogales Commercial Facility totaled nearly $4.6 million in fentanyl and methamphetamine, totaling close to 650 pounds on Saturday, January 26th.
CBP Officers discovered over 400 packages of drugs concealed within a special floor compartment of a trailer that was laden with cucumbers, driven by a 26-year-old truck driver.
Following an alert by a CBP narcotics detection canine, CBP officers seized nearly 254 pounds of fentanyl with a value of approximately $3.5 million and almost 395 pounds of methamphetamine valued at $1.1 million.
The methamphetamine seizure represents the third largest at an Arizona port.
“These two seizures alone had the potential to kill millions of Americans,” added Scott.
“I want to express my gratitude to the CBP officers involved in this case and Nogales personnel who selflessly perform their duties with dedication, vigilance, and professional even during a funding hiatus,” said Nogales Area Port Director Michael Humphries, praising his staff at the Mariposa Commercial Facility for this record breaking drug seizure and arrest.
“Opioids pose a real danger to every community in America and are having fatal consequences across our nation. This past weekend our CBP officers were able to stop an enormous amount of these deadly narcotics from hitting our streets.”
The driver of the vehicle was arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), who charged him with two counts of 21 USC 841, possession with intent to distribute and is currently in federal custody.
“This case clearly shows that HSI’s and CBP’s collaborative efforts continue to have an impact, as those attempting to smuggle illicit drugs are stopped at the border,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Scott Brown.
“These efforts exhibit the combined resources of law enforcement agencies’ resolve to combating these deadly drugs from entering our communities.”
San Diego Sector agents have seized over 300 pounds of cocaine, 79 pounds of fentanyl, and 975 ounces of heroin since October 1, 2019.
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 our nation’s borders at and between official ports of entry.
CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.