Ports of Entry
Pedestrians approaching the area for CBP processing at the Calexico Port of Entry. Photo credit: Josh Denmark via cbp.go

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers from the Calexico Port of Entry intercepted narcotics worth more than $8 million over the course of five days this month, officials said Thursday.

Among the discoveries – nearly 800 pounds of fentanyl and methamphetamine concealed inside travelers’ vehicles and luggage while applying for entry into the U.S.

“Fentanyl, a very lethal drug, continues to be on the rise and our officers will relentlessly continue doing everything they can to keep this hard narcotic off our streets,” said David Salazar, the agency’s director for the Calexico Port of Entry.

Officers, according to a CBP statement, noticed tampering of travelers’ vehicles and unusual travel patterns when they found the drugs from July 13-17:

  • July 17 – 72.33 pounds of fentanyl and 186.82 pounds of methamphetamine found when officers used the port’s imaging machine.
  • July 16 – 66.40 pounds of fentanyl and 2.35 grams of marijuana were discovered after an intensive, physical search of the traveler’s vehicle and luggage.
  • July 15 – 106.30 pounds of fentanyl found when officers used the port’s imaging machine.
  • July 14 – 227.92 pounds of fentanyl discovered after a canine enforcement screening was conducted.
  • July 13 – 130.19 pounds of fentanyl found after officers determined that a vehicle had been tampered with during an initial cursory inspection.

“Remaining vigilant for something that looks out of place and keeping a keen eye for unusual travel patterns is what our officers are trained to do,” said Anne Maricich, CBP’s acting director of field operations in San Diego.

The total estimated value of the narcotics found by Calexico officers is $8.25 million.

The travelers allegedly in possession of the drugs were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Homeland Security Investigations conducted further inquiries.

CBP officers seized the narcotics and the vehicles.



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Ellen Bullock