CBP officers pull multi-million-dollar drug load from bus gas tank


SAN DIEGO –  The U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro port of entry seized over $3.2 million in cocaine and methamphetamine from inside a gas tank of a commercial bus June 25, according to a press release from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

This significant seizure occurred when a CBP canine team gave a positive alert to a 2004 commercial bus that was awaiting inspection, said the release. The driver, a 50-year-old male Mexican citizen, reportedly was a B1/B2 Visa holder. CBP officers referred the man and bus to secondary inspection for further examination.

According to the release, CBP officers observed anomalies with the bus’s gas tank and pulled 98 packages from inside the gas tank. CBP officers determined that 48 packages contained cocaine that weighed more than two hundred pounds with an estimated street value of over $3 million. The other fifty packages contained methamphetamine. These weighed more than twenty-five pounds with an estimated street value of $182,000. The man was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing.

“CBP officers remain vigilant and committed to halting the drug trafficking originations attempts to smuggle narcotics into the U.S.” said Pete Flores, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego in the release. “CBP’s seizure of these narcotics sends a strong message that our efforts to stop illegal narcotics from entering our country will never falter.”

CBP seized the vehicle and narcotics. An immigration hold was put on the man so that after the judicial process he will be returned to DHS custody, said the release.

CBP officers at the border crossings in Southern California routinely stop illegal activity, while processing millions of legitimate travelers into the United States.