CALEXICO, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico West port of entry said they arrested a SENTRI (Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection) member after discovering 251 pounds of marijuana concealed in an auxiliary fuel tank located in the bed of the pickup truck he was driving.
The incident occurred Tuesday at about 2:50 a.m., when a CBP officer encountered a 53-year-old man from Mexico and a permanent resident of the U.S. driving a 2006 Ford F-250 pickup truck. The CBP officer referred both the driver and vehicle for further inspection.
CBP officers conducted a search of the vehicle that included the use of the port’s imaging system and discovered anomalies to the auxiliary fuel tank. A canine team screened the vehicle and the canine alerted to the tank. Officers subsequently discovered 10 wrapped packages of marijuana concealed inside the fuel tank. The narcotics have an estimated street value of $100,400.
“This is another great example of dedicated CBP officers using their skills and advanced technology to stop the smuggling of dangerous contraband from entering the United States,” said Area Port Director David Salazar.
The driver, a resident of Holtville, Calif. was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigation agents for further processing. The driver was later transported to the Imperial County Jail where he currently awaits arraignment.
CBP seized the narcotics and vehicle.