by Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized more than $5.7 million worth of narcotics from three smuggling attempts this weekend.

The first seizure occured on Friday at approximately 10:20 a.m. when a 25-year-old woman possessing a valid entry document was removed from the vehicle and escorted to the security office, according to CBP.  Officers observed several packages concealed in the vehicle after a K-9 alerted to the trunk area.

Several anomalies were found in the seats and floor after CBP officers scanned the area using the port’s imaging system. Officers found 33 packages of methamphetamine weighing 201 pounds hidden within the seats, floor, and firewall after further inspection. 

The second seizure happened at the Tecate port of entry at 6:11 a.m. on Saturday when three males, ages 66, 57, and 56, applied for entry through the Tecate port of entry primary vehicle lanes. 

All travelers presented their valid legal permanent resident cards when they applied for admission into the United States. The vehicle and its three occupants were referred for further investigation. 

During the inspection, a CBP officer screened the vehicle with his assigned human/narcotics detector dog and notified officers of an alert to the center console. Through a hands-on inspection, officers discovered 80 packages containing fentanyl pills concealed in various areas of the vehicle with a total weight of nearly 175 pounds.

The third seizure occurred on Sunday at approximately 6:50 as.m. when a 54-year-old woman and an 18-year olf man applied for entry into the U.S. by presenting their valid SENTRI cards to CBP officers at the San Ysidro Port of Entry dedicated commuter lane.

The vehicle was referred for further inspection, where an assigned human/narcotic detector dog screened the vehicle and alerted it to the presence of narcotics. After further examination, officers found four packages of fentanyl pills, weighing nearly 11 pounds, and three packages of fentanyl powder, weighing slightly more than 7 pounds.

The thwarted smuggling attempts come after CBP intercepted over $1.5 million worth of cocaine concealed within a shipment of watermelons in the Calexico East Cargo Facility. 

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