U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Andrade port of entry arrested a 36-year-old man on Monday who was allegedly attempting to smuggle three types of drugs into the country in the vehicle he was driving.
The incident occurred at about 7:15 a.m., when a CBP officer conducting inspections encountered a U.S. citizen driving a 1997 Chevrolet truck and referred the vehicle for a more in-depth examination.
During that intensive inspection, a CBP canine team screened the vehicle and the dog alerted to the area of the gas tank.
When officers removed and searched the gas tank, they found 15 wrapped packages. Of those packages, one was fentanyl, seven were heroin and the remaining seven were methamphetamine.
The drugs had a combined weight of 49 pounds and an estimated street value of more than $278,000.
“CBP officers work in various specialty units to assist in protecting the frontline,” said Andrade Officer in Charge Roberto Garcia. “One of those units is the CBP canine team that greatly enhances our ability to interdict these type of dangerous narcotics.”
The driver was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigation agents for further processing. He was later transported to the Imperial County Jail to await arraignment.
The vehicle and narcotics were seized.
James Gilbert can be reached at jgilbert<\