K-9 Teams’ and Agents’ Fiscal-Year Meth-Seizures Soar at the Border
Photo: one pic of the meth seizures
CAMPO – They’ve only just begun. Street-value totals nearing $4.5 million in snagged, smuggled methamphetamine has surpassed last year’s fiscal figures by 7%.
Three recent incidents shed a light on the creative smugglers’ goings-on at the border in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. A woman and two men were each approached in their various vehicles by California Border Patrol (CBP) Agents, resulting in uncovered copious amounts of meth.
Consistent throughout, the K-9 Teams alerted well, and often. And, CBP Agents made three significant drug-smuggling arrests in the following ongoing investigations.
The first of three anonymous subjects, a 23-year-old U.S. male driver, was stopped at 12:00 PM on 04/03/2020 at the primary Interstate 8 checkpoint near Campo. Agents referred the 2018 red Jeep Wrangler to secondary inspection when a Border Patrol canine alerted.
Found were 80 packages of meth discovered inside the tail lights, air filter, and back-seat pockets, under the front and rear seats, and beneath the dashboard. Weighing in at 88.05 lbs., the drug-seizure carried an estimated street value of $198,112.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) stepped in to investigate the driver, the Jeep, and his not-so-well-hidden meth. Afterwards, CBP seized the Jeep.
Next, a woman in a black Honda Civic approached the same checkpoint on Sunday, 04/05/2020 near 12:45 PM. The 30-year-old U.S. citizen spoke briefly with Agents, who sent her to secondary questioning. The K-9 team said nary a word as they alerted for a search.
The sedan’s gas tank concealed 74 plastic-wrapped packages, which tested positive for meth and weighed in at 41.66 lbs. The estimated street value was $93,735.
The arrested woman, the meth, and the sedan were handed over to DEA Investigators. Then, the CBP seized the car.
Lastly, 37 bundles of meth stashed in a 2016 Dodge Dart secured an arrest at the I-8 checkpoint for a 28-year-old U.S. man. A brief questioning by Agents on April 8th, at approximately 10:45 AM led to a K-9 signal during the vehicle-exterior search, resulting in another hefty find in the gas tank.
The bundles weighed 41.30 pounds, with an estimated street value of $92,925.
The man, charged with possession and intent to distribute – along with his meth stash – were handed over to the DEA. The Dart was seized by the CBP.
“Since October 1, 2019, San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents have seized more than 1,956 pounds of methamphetamine, which has an estimated street value of $4,401,000.,”, said CBP. “Methamphetamine seizures in San Diego Sector are up 7 percent fiscal year to date as compared to last year.”
CBP reports that Agents have seized over 2,552 pounds of hard narcotics totaling $10,500,000. Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke said, “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Border Patrol remains committed to enforcing federal law and keeping these dangerous drugs off the street.”
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, you are urged to contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.