Valley Police Beat: More than 180 pounds of marijuana seized
El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Calexico Station seized 184 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of more than $147,000. (PHOTO COURTSEY OF U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION / March 6, 2013)
Around 7:51 p.m., an agent saw five men illegally enter the United States east of the Calexico Port of Entry and walk north toward Interstate 8. Four of the men had large bundles strapped to their backs.
After reaching the interstate, the men loaded the four bundles into a Plymouth Voyager that stopped near them, and two got inside while the others ran back to Mexico.
Agents nearby safely disabled the vehicle with a controlled tire deflation device as it drove away. The driver, a male U.S. citizen, and two male Mexican citizens were arrested.
The bundles weighed 184.2 pounds all together and have an estimated street value of $147,357.
The driver, passengers, vehicles and marijuana were turned over to the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office for further investigation.
CBP officers seize narcotics, firearms
CALEXICO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers made four significant seizures involving narcotics, firearms and ammunition over the weekend.
In the first incident, a CBP officer escorted a 51-year-old male Mexican citizen for further examination after detecting anomalies in the vehicle he was driving around 8 a.m. Friday at the Andrade Port of Entry.
A dog then alerted to the white 1995 Chevy S-10 pickup he was driving, and officers then found 25 wrapped packages of cocaine hidden inside two non-factory compartments in the vehicle’s gas tank.
The packages weighed 63 pounds in total and are estimated to be worth $756,000.
The driver, a lawful permanent resident of San Luis, Ariz., was arrested for the alleged drug smuggling attempt.
In the second incident, officers detected anomalies in a grey 2000 Toyota Tundra around 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Calexico downtown Port of Entry.
Officers found one package of methamphetamine and five packages of heroin inside the vehicle’s rear differential upon further inspection. The combined weight of the packages was 14 pounds with an estimated street value of about $186,000.
The driver, a 20-year-old male U.S. citizen of Earlimart was arrested for the alleged drug smuggling attempt.
In the third incident, a white 2002 Dodge pickup was referred for further examination at the Andrade Port of Entry around 10:40 a.m. Sunday.
The driver, a 32-year-old male U.S. citizen of Chandler, Ariz., didn’t declare to officers that he was exporting firearms and ammunition.
With the use of a detector dog, officers found four assault rifles and 998 rounds of ammunition hidden inside a specially-built compartment in the vehicle’s dashboard. CBP officers arrested the driver and seized the rifles, ammunition and vehicle.
In the final seizure, a CBP officer referred an 18-year-old male U.S. citizen and Calexico resident driving a white 2008 Ford Fusion for further examination at the Calexico downtown Port of Entry around 3:40 p.m. Sunday.
Officers found four packages of methamphetamine hidden inside the vehicles rear seats upon further examination. The combined weight of the packages was six pounds with an approximate street value of $90,000.
The driver was arrested for the alleged drug smuggling attempt.
Reported human trafficking
BLYTHE — Around 9 p.m. Monday, agents received a report from the Border Patrol all-terrain vehicle unit that a vehicle possibly being used in a human smuggling attempt was going through the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range.
Responding agents found a gold Ford F-150 and safely stopped the pickup by deploying a controlled tire deflation device near the intersection of Wiley’s Well Road and Bradshaw Trail Road.
As the vehicle pulled over and stopped, all the occupants fled the vehicle. Agents arrested three Mexican nationals including a 26-year-old woman, a 39-year-old woman and a 39-year-old man. All of them were illegally in the U.S. and were placed in Border Patrol custody pending further investigation.
Border Patrol seized the vehicle.
— Chelcey Adami, email@example.com
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