CALEXICO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at both Calexico ports of entry recently thwarted two smuggling incidents — one involving two Mexican men concealed inside a vehicle and another involving 50 pounds of methamphetamine concealed inside a gas tank, according to a news release from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.
According to reports, the first incident occurred Thursday, Sept. 14, at about 6:05 p.m. at the East Port of Entry, when officers encountered a 24-year-old female Mexican citizen driving a 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse as she applied for entry. At the inspection booth, the CBP officer searched the vehicle and reportedly discovered two men hidden in the spare tire wheel well. Officers extracted the two men, a 38-year-old and a 28-year-old, both Mexican citizens.
The driver was arrested on suspicion of human smuggling and will be processed by CBP enforcement officers for federal prosecution.
The second incident occurred Sept. 18, at about 1:45 a.m. when CBP officers encountered a 29-year-old male, Mexican citizen at the downtown port of entry driving a 2000 Ford Expedition. The CBP officer referred the driver and vehicle for a more in-depth examination, said the release.
According to the news release, a CBP canine team screened the vehicle and the detector dog alerted to the gas tank. Officers searched the vehicle and discovered 50 wrapped packages of methamphetamine, weighing 50 pounds, with a street value of approximately $70,000.
The driver, a resident of Bakersfield, was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigation agents for further processing.
Both drivers were later transported to the Imperial County Jail where they currently await arraignment. CBP seized the narcotics and vehicles.