Border patrol seizes almost $1 million smuggled in car after K9 sniffs out drugs in vehicle from Mexico

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SAN DIEGO, CA –Agents from the United States Customs and Border patrol were working the area of the Mexico California border on August 5th when they stopped a vehicle headed south on Interstate 15 in Escondido. 

During the traffic stop, a police K9 conducted a drug sniff of the vehicle and found almost $1 million dollars in US currency during a search of the vehicle.

Agents conducted the traffic stop near the border of Mexico and came into contact with a Mexican National.  Agents spoke to the man to determine if he was legally allowed to be in the country while they had a police K9 conduct a sniff of the vehicle.

Cash Escondido 2

The K9 indicated to the presence of the odor of drugs coming from within the vehicle and performed a manual search.  During the search of the Volkswagen Touareg, agents found 65 plastic wrapped bundles of United States cash. 

The count of the money revealed that there was $967,460 that was concealed in the gas tank of the vehicle.

Cash Escondido

The money and the vehicle were seized by the agents and the driver was arrested.  The driver was turned over to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations. 

The investigation into the origins of the cash will continue but it is suspected that it is gains from an illegal smuggling operation.    

Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said:

“The US Border Patrol works tirelessly to protect the Homeland from transnational criminal organizations- the same criminal enterprises that poison our communities with narcotics and smuggle human beings like cargo. 

Seizing illicit gains from these criminal enterprises is one of the tactics the USBP uses to keep our country safe.” 

US Customs and Border Protection officers also recently report that ports of entries into the US in San Diego and Imperial Valley counties have seized more than $61 million dollars’ worth of narcotics in the first weekend of August. 

Seizures of 668 pounds of methamphetamine (hidden in a cactus shipment), nearly 15,000 pounds of marijuana in a shipment of limes, and a spare tire which held fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine hidden inside.

Pete Flores, Director of Field Operations for CBP in San Diego said in statement:

“International drug trafficking organizations will use whatever means they can think of to try and move their illicit shipments into the US.  CBP officers dedicate their careers to protecting our country by securing the border.  For them, these unusual seizures are all in a day’s work.” 

On August 7th, a semi arrived at the Otay Mesa cargo facility with a shipment which was supposed to be cactus.  However, agents determined the semi should be taken for further inspection and a K9 team was dispatched to perform a sniff of the cargo. 

The police K9 indicated to the presence of the odor of drugs coming from a pallet of cactus.  Upon a search of the crates, agents found packages wrapped with green tape hidden inside.  The packages, 590 in total, contained 668 pounds of methamphetamine, roughly worth $1.5 million dollars on the street. 

In total, officers found 590 packages, containing about 668 pounds of methamphetamine. The narcotics have an estimated street value of over $1.5 million.

Later in the day, another semi, also at the Otay Mesa cargo crossing, was sent for further inspection.  Upon inspection, agents located large tape-wrapped packages inside boxes which were supposed to be carrying limes. 

Those packages contained 14,880 pounds of marijuana with a street value estimated at $60 million dollars. 

CBP officers cut open the spare tire; inside they found one package of fentanyl with a weight of 2.43 pounds, one package of heroin with a weight of 2.56 pounds, and 41 packages of methamphetamine with a weight of 67.20 pounds.

On August 9th, a US citizen arrived at the Calexico port of entry and X-ray imaging showed an issue with a spare tire.  A K9 team was deployed to conduct a sniff which indicated to the presence of the odor of drugs.  A manual search of the tire found one package of fentanyl with a weight of 2.43 pounds.

In addition, 41 packages of methamphetamine with a weight of 67.2 pounds was also located.  The street value of the drugs found is estimated around $125,000. 

Who says there is not a significant influx of drugs coming across the border?  Oh, that’s right, the democrats tell us there is not and that to think that makes you a racist. 

What border crisis? ‘Most sophisticated tunnel in U.S. history’ discovered under the Mexican border

YUMA, AZ – There are some pretty cool tunnels in the world.  There are tunnels that go under mountains and tunnels that go under rivers.  There are networks of tunnels that connect underground rail systems in major cities.  There is even a tunnel under the English Channel.

However, all of them appear to pale in comparison to the tunnel that stretches more than 1,300 feet across the Mexican border which was just discovered by federal agents.  Those agents called that tunnel the “most sophisticated tunnel in US history”.

The tunnel, exposed by agents in Arizona on Tuesday, is equipped with a ventilation system, water lines, electrical wiring, a rail system and extensive reinforcement.

The tunnel was detected prior to completion, and there was no access to the surface in the US, according to a statement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“This appears to be the most sophisticated tunnel in US history, and certainly the most sophisticated I’ve seen in my career,” said Carl E Landrum, acting chief patrol agent, Yuma Sector.

Agents found a what they thought was sinkhole back in July between border fences on the U.S.-Mexico border.  They were in the process of an ongoing investigation into possible tunnel activity, according to an August 6 ICE news release. 

On July 27, Yuma Sector Border Patrol Agents started drilling near the sinkhole. Water hoses and pieces of wood were found and a camera put 25 feet underground.

“Homeland Security Investigations and our esteemed law enforcement partners swiftly and effectively worked together to uncover and dismantle a cross-border tunnel for smuggling purposes into the United States,” Scott Brown, special agent in charge of HSI Phoenix, said in the release.

“Despite the international pandemic, HSI and our law enforcement colleagues remain resilient and committed to pursue dangerous criminal trans-border smuggling activities along the southwest border.”

A team led by ICE officials recently discovered what’s being called “the most sophisticated smuggling tunnel in U.S….

Posted by One America News Network on Saturday, August 8, 2020

“We will continue to work closely with our partners – Homeland Security Investigations and state and local agencies to provide the best national security possible.”

ICE asks the public To report suspicious activity related to this ongoing investigation, please 1-886-DHS-2-ICE, you may remain anonymous.

ICE didn’t specify what they thought might be smuggled through the tunnel, but the porous Southern Border has given a free pass to criminals, drug dealers, drugs, human trafficking, weapons violations and myriad other illegal activities. 

One can only imagine what could have been brought in by underground rail car had that tunnel been brought to fruition.

In other news from ICE on the Southern Border, ICE and Homeland Security Agents continue to investigate circumstances that led to the seizure of almost 400 pounds of methamphetamine, approximately 10 pounds of fentanyl powder, about 8 pounds of fentanyl pills (approximately 30,000 pills) and $55,041 in U.S. currency, resulting in the arrest four individuals in Phoenix, Arizona last Thursday.

According to a press release from ICE:

“United States Border Patrol Intelligence Agents identified a vehicle being used by alleged drug traffickers to smuggle hundreds of pounds of hard narcotics from Mexico into the United States.

On July 30, the vehicle drove up a make-shift ramp over the United States border approximately 50 miles west of Lukeville Port-of-Entry between Ajo and Welton U.S. Border Patrol Stations. Federal agents conducted surveillance on the vehicle from the border to Phoenix.

Upon arrival in Phoenix, agents observed the contents of the vehicle being loaded into a second vehicle. Agents quickly moved in to secure the scene and arrested Luis Rendon-Espinoza, Manual Delgado-Lopez, Miguel Daniel Luna and Felicitas Saenz charging them with various narcotics federal violations.”

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Had that tunnel been completed, finding and confiscating those deadly drugs before they made their way on to the streets in the United States could have been almost impossible. 

Included in that deadly mix of chemicals was 10 POUNDs of fentanyl powder.  One pound is equal to 453,592,370 micrograms. 

According to Harm Reduction Ohio, death is all but certain if a person ingests 1000 micrograms of fentanyl.

Ten pounds of fentanly could easily kill 4,535,923 people.  Back in 2018, one of the largest drug busts ever took fentanyl off the streets in a quantity capable of killing 26 million people.

These large drug busts and the sophisticated construction of smuggling tunnels really demonstrate the need for the United States to enact regulations and policies to secure the borders.

As reported in Law Enforcement Today back in March of 2020, CPB officers seized millions of dollars worth of meth and $200,000 in cash over a 3 day period.

We can talk about the “drug crisis” in this country all we want, but until we take drastic measures to stem the flow, until we eschew the “open borders” lunacy of the left, until we stop allowing the contents of the Trojan Horse to walk right in the front door, we are just going have to sit back and watch our citizens die.

CBP makes bust of over 800 lbs of meth valued at over $16M – in a shipment of broccoli

Pharr, Texas – A recent bust by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Harr International Bridge cargo facility made an enormous methamphetamine bust valued at over $16,000,000 that was reportedly concealed in a shipment of fresh broccoli.

Officers from the CBP’s Office of Field Operations were working at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility on August 3rd, when a 51-year-old male Mexican citizen pulled up in a tractor-trailer that contained a what appeared to be nothing more than a commercial shipment of some broccoli.

Upon the tractor-trailer pulling up, a CBP officer referred the vehicle over to secondary for further inspection. After utilizing a non-intrusive imaging system inspection, officers realized there was more to this broccoli than a natural source of dietary fiber.

The NII system founds there were suspected packages of narcotics embedded within the broccoli pallet, which revealed 1,561 packages of suspected methamphetamine that weighed nearly 805 pounds.

Carlos Rodriguez, who serves as the Port Director of the Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry, stated the following about the seizure:

“This is a substantial amount of hard narcotics that our officers have detected and seized from drug trafficking organizations attempting to smuggle these drugs across our border. By preventing this drug load from reaching the U.S., CBP advances its border security mission, protecting our citizens and communities.”

Packages containing 804.69 pounds of methamphetamine seized by CBP officers at Pharr International Bridge.
Packages containing 804.69 pounds of methamphetamine seized by CBP officers at Pharr International Bridge – U.S. Customs and Border Protection

After seizing the narcotics, the driver was subsequently arrested, and the tractor-trailer was also seized. Agent from Homeland Security Investigations are said to be continuing the investigation regarding the bust.

Funny thing is – this isn’t the first time that CBP have intercepted drugs that were concealed in broccoli shipments.

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Earlier this year in February, another monumental bust was achieved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently, where over $18 million worth of dangerous narcotics were seized. Thanks to the stellar work performed the agency, over 1,000 pounds of drugs were prevented from flooding into the state of Texas.

According to a press release by the CBP, agents from the Office of Field Operations working at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility intercepted over half a ton of narcotics.

The drugs seized consisted of 895 pounds of meth, 202 pounds of marijuana, nearly 9 pounds of heroin, and just over 3 pounds of cocaine. From the 432 packages of various drugs recovered by agents, the estimated street value of the seizure totaled out to $18,418,500.

 

CBP seizes more than M worth of meth hidden in broccoli. But there's no threat at the border, right?
Photo of seized narcotics – CBP

The enormous bust took place on February 16th, after agents assigned to the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility noticed something odd about a trailer hauling a commercial shipment of fresh broccoli.

What set them to further examine this load of broccoli was that agents were able to notice out of place bundles among the cargo. This was achieved via non-intrusive imaging equipment.

This technology allows the CBP to use large-scale X-ray and Gammaray imaging systems to quickly and efficiently examine large cargo loads for suspected illegal substances.

Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, who oversees the Port of Hidalgo/Pharr/ Anzalduas, had the following to say about the recent seizure:

“This was truly a notable seizure in the commercial environment. Our officers’ ability to maintain an excellent enforcement posture while keeping trade flowing and uninterrupted is one of our main priorities.” 

The CBP OFO appropriated the narcotics as well as the trailer used to transport the packages of them. The case is still currently under investigation and is being headed by the Homeland Security Investigations.

This isn’t the first time that agents recovered over $18 million worth of narcotics either. At literally the same location in May of last year, CBP OFO agents at the Pharr International Bridge seized 929.5 pounds of meth in a single bust. 

That seizure took place specifically on May 17th, 2019. The similarities of these two busts didn’t just end with the street value of narcotics seized or the place where agents appropriated the drugs, either.

While the latest seizure was found hidden among a shipment of broccoli on February 16th, 2020, this 2019 load was hidden among a shipment of carrots. 

 

CBP seizes more than M worth of meth hidden in broccoli. But there's no threat at the border, right?
Photo of seized meth from 2019 – CBP

Last year’s load was detected by using non-intrusive imaging equipment in concurrence with the K-9 team working at the cargo facility.

The tractor/trailer in question hosted a total of 384 packages of methamphetamine. 

Then-Port Director Sylvia Briones had the following to say about the accomplishment at the time:

“This is truly a huge, notable interception of hard narcotics accomplished by our frontline officers in the cargo environment. Our officers’ mindset and dedication is genuinely apparent as evidenced by this outstanding seizure.”

You would think that the smugglers who lost their $18 million worth of product would have figured out by now that this cargo facility has a knack for locating drugs hidden within vegetable cargo.

Although, it’s preferable that cartels trying to introduce this poison into the country remain this oblivious. 

Why anyone would be against the amazing work the CBP manages to accomplish is beyond me. There’s no telling how many lives were saved by the agents who aided in apprehensions of this magnitude. From all of us at Law Enforcement Today, we extend our sincerest appreciation at the efforts exerted by this amazing agency. 

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