U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro port of entry yesterday, apprehended a female traveler for allegedly concealing 65 pounds of cocaine and 6,767 pills of oxycodone.
On Mar. 23, at about 11:30 p.m., a 24-year-old female U.S citizen, and sole occupant of a 2007 Honda Accord, applied for entry into the United States.
A CBP canine team was screening vehicles as they waited in line for inspection when the detector dog alerted to the vehicle’s front bumper.
CBP officers searched the vehicle and discovered 24 packages of a white powdery substance and one package containing 6,767 pills which were all hidden inside bumpers.
Field testing revealed the substance as cocaine and the pills as oxycodone. The street value of the cocaine is approximately $978,900 dollars and $203,010 dollars for the oxycodone.
“Our canine teams have always been a vital piece in keeping illegal substances from our communities and today’s apprehension illustrates that,” said Pete Flores, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego.
CBP officers seized the cocaine, oxycodone and vehicle.
The female was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations and taken to Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) to await federal prosecution.
This apprehension comes on the heels of a recent oxycodone seizure of 47,340 pills worth $1,420,000 dollars.
Adriana Morfin-Paniagua, 22, a United States citizen living in Tijuana, Mexico, was arrested March 8, 2017 and charged with importing approximately 47,340 tablets of oxycodone in the largest seizure of what is believed to be oxycodone along the Southwest Border in at least five years.
The street value of these tablets is approximately $1,420,000 dollars.
According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, on March 8, 2017, Morfin-Paniagua entered the United States at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry as the driver and sole occupant of a 1999 Honda Accord.
Following a secondary inspection of the Honda Accord, Custom and Border Protection Officials located thirty packages containing the oxycodone tablets inside a hidden, non-factory compartment.
These tablets have an illegal street value of $30 to $40 per tablet. At $30 each, the street value of 47,340 tablets is $1,420,200.00 dollars.
When drugs are seized at the border, they are tested in the field, and these pills tested positive as oxycodone. The drugs are then forensically tested in a DEA lab to confirm those findings. Those tests can take about a week or sometimes more.
Morfin-Paniagua was subsequently charged with a violation of Title 21, United States Code, 952 and 960, importation of a controlled substance, and booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
“This is one of the biggest seizures of oxycodone at a San Diego port of entry,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Alana Robinson.
“Every pill we seize is one that we keep out of the mouths of abusers who are on a path to destruction.”
“HSI San Diego is committed to fully investigating criminal activity linked to the transnational movement of counterfeit pharmaceuticals,” said James Plitt, acting special agent in charge for HSI San Diego.
“Our agents will continue to work diligently with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners to counter this type of criminal activity.”
Morfin-Paniagua made her first appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jan Adler.
Criminal charges are merely allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.