SAN DIEGO (CBS) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the California border crossings found more than 950 pounds of narcotics hidden in vehicle dashboards, gas tanks, secret compartments, spare tires, tail gates, and other locations.
Authorities said the estimated street value of the drugs was more than $1.7 million.
“We know that drug trafficking organizations will try to conceal narcotics anywhere they think is hidden and inaccessible,” said Chris Maston, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego.
“CBP officers are extremely well-trained and use the tools at their disposal to ensure that we find illegal contraband, no matter where it might be hidden,” he added.
At about 3:15 a.m. on Friday, a 37-year-old male Mexican citizen, driving a blue 1988 Mitsubishi pickup truck, was stopped at the San Ysidro port of entry.
CBP officers examined the vehicle and found 64 packages of marijuana, weighing a total of about 106 pounds, hidden in the sides of the truck bed, in the tail gate, and in the vehicle quarter panels.
At about 3 p.m. on Friday, a 28-year-old male U.S. citizen, driving a 1996 Ford Explorer, was stopped at the San Ysidro port of entry.
While the driver was waiting in the lanes of traffic to approach the inspection booth, a CBP officer with a narcotic detector dog screened the vehicle, and the canine alerted. CBP officers inspected the vehicle and found 19 packages of methamphetamine hidden under the floor of the vehicle, weighing about 27 pounds.
At about 3:15 p.m. Friday, a 19-year-old female U.S. citizen, driving a 1994 Nissan Maxima, was stopped at the San Ysidro border crossing.
While the driver was talking with the CBP officer during her inspection, CBP officers found eight packages of marijuana, weighing almost 13 pounds, hidden inside the vehicle’s dashboard.
At about 5:30 p.m. Friday, a 28-year-old female U.S. citizen, driving a silver 2001 Mitsubishi Montero, was stopped at the San Ysidro port of entry.
A CBP officer removed 17 packages of marijuana, weighing a total of almost 85 pounds, from the spare tire.
In each incident, CBP officers seized the vehicle and narcotics, and turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.