Customs and Border Protection officers in Southern California seized more than 50 pounds of blue fentanyl pills. Officers found the deadly drugs in the gas tank of a Ford vehicle.
Officers assigned to the Calexico Port of Entry on June 6 observed a 2014 Ford approaching from Mexico for entry into the United States, according to information obtained from CBP officials.
A narcotic smuggling attempt was stopped by @CBP officers at the #Calexico Port of Entry. During the examination officers discovered more than 50 pounds of fentanyl in the vehicle. #KeepItUp #FrontLine #OTM @DHS
— Director of Field Operations Sidney Aki (@DFOSanDiegoCA) June 21, 2022
Calexico Director of Field Operations Sidney Aki tweeted photos of drugs found inside the fuel tank of the vehicle.
Following an initial interview with the driver, officers referred the driver to a secondary inspection area. The officers conducted a non-intrusive examination of the vehicle, similar to an x-ray, and found anomalies in the gas tank area, officials stated.
The officers removed the 28-year-old driver from the vehicle and proceeded with additional inspections. Officials did not disclose the nationality of the driver.
A K-9 trained in human and drug detection carried out an inspection and alerted the officers to the possible presence of drugs. A physical search of the vehicle and its fuel tank led to the discovery of 43 packages containing blue pills.
The pills tested positive for fentanyl, a deadly drug even in small quantities.
Officers weighed the packages of pills and estimated the value of the 54.85 pounds of fentanyl to be approximately $658,200.
“Our officers’ meticulous attention to detail is what continues to keep our communities safe,” Anne Maricich, CBP Deputy Director of Field Operations in San Diego said in a written statement. “Smugglers will continue to try different methods of crossing contraband, but we are always one step ahead with our advanced technology.”
Officials seized the drugs and the Ford vehicle. They turned the driver over to ICE Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation. He was later transferred to the El Centro Detention Facility.