September 19, 2011 (San Diego)--U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers confiscated more than 8,800 pounds of marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine valued at $8.2 million at San Diego border stations in just two days this past week, also halting entry of over 116 undocumented immigrants.
The largest seizure occurred Thursday, September 15 at the Otay Mesa cargo facility after a 29-year-old male Mexican citizen, driving a 1996 Kenworth tractor pulling a trailer, entered the port a cargo manifested as plastic materials. During questioning, the CBP officer noticed inconsistencies with the driver’s answers and referred the driver and conveyance for an intensive examination.
CBP officers unloaded the merchandise, opened the boxes and discovered 404 large wrapped packages of marijuana, weighing 7,903 pounds. CBP arrested the driver; they also seized the marijuana and tractor-trailer.
At the San Ysidro port of entry late Wednesday evening, September 14, CBP officers screening travelers entering the border by foot stopped a 54-year-old male U.S. citizen for questioning. CBP officers subsequently found 6 packages of marijuana, weighing 7 pounds, taped to the man’s abdomen and thighs. CBP officers arrested the man and seized the marijuana.
That same day, at approximately 9:15 p.m. at the nearby Otay Mesa passenger port, a CBP officer screening vehicle and travelers waiting for inspection targeted a 34-year-old female U.S. citizen driving a 1999 Ford Explorer. The officer noticed her nervous demeanor and escorted her and the vehicle for a more in-depth examination.
CBP officers ran the Explorer through the port’s imaging system which revealed anomalies within all four tires. Officers cut open all four tires and discovered metal canisters wrapped around the rims containing 158 pounds of marijuana. CBP officers arrested the woman,and seized both the vehicle and marijuana.
On Thursday, September 15 at the San Ysidro border crossing at about 4:30 a.m., a canine team was screening vehicles waiting to enter the United States when a detector dog alerted to a 2004 Ford Ranger driven by a 22-year-old male U.S. citizen. CBP officers escorted the man and vehicle for further inspection where they discovered 17 wrapped packages of methamphetamine weighing 39 pounds inside the gas tank of the pickup truck.
CBP officers arrested the man and seized the vehicle and methamphetamine.
CBP officers also stopped 116 illegal aliens who attempted to illegally enter the country hidden within vehicles, or by presenting fraudulent documents or valid documents not legally issued to them; some had been previously deported.
Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations Deputy Assistant Commissioner Kevin McAleenan commended the San Ysidro port of entry and the San Diego Field Office saying, “The fact that the port and field office are still maintaining an excellent enforcement posture given the challenges faced this week is a true credit to the port of San Ysidro, the San Diego Field Office, and to Customs and Border Protection as a whole.”
On Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at about 10:45 a.m. at the San Ysidro port of entry there was a collapse of scaffolding being used for construction. The collapse occurred just north of the primary inspection booths in the U.S. To safeguard the public and CBP personnel, the port was closed until the situation could be assessed.
CBP officers immediately secured the port. As the port re-opened, CBP officers remained vigilant to stop any attempts at illegal activity.
At 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, CBP began processing pedestrian traffic again at the San Ysidro port of entry. Later on Wednesday, at midnight, CBP re-opened 13 vehicle lanes of the San Ysidro port of entry to begin processing travelers. CBP also re-opened the lane used to process bus traffic.