Within the course of five hours over $1 million worth of cocaine seized and a fugitive wanted for homicide was apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Wednesday.
At approximately 2 a.m. officers at the San Ysidro port of entry and PedWest facility encountered a 62-year-old man with a Mexican citizenship, and who was a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., driving a Ford Explorer.
After an initial inspection of the vehicle, CBP said officers noticed discrepancies and sent it for a more thorough second inspection, where a canine team alerted CBP to narcotics.
CBP officers found 28 packages of cocaine hidden inside a secret floor compartment of the vehicle.
The packages weighed more than 75 pounds, with an estimated street value of over $1 million, according to a statement from CBP.
The man was arrested and is being held by Homeland Security for further investigation.
Around 7 a.m., a second incident occurred involving 35-year-old Alex Machain, a U.S. Citizen, who was turned over to the San Ysidro PedWest facility by Mexican officials.
Machain was processed by a CBP officer using the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), which revealed Machain was wanted by the Los Angeles Police Department for murder-homicide, with bail set at $2 million.
“CBP officers continue to combat the drug trafficking originations attempts to smuggle narcotics into the U.S.” said Pete Flores, the director of field operations for CBP in San Diego, in a statement. “CBP’s apprehension of the fugitive is a prime example of why partnerships between the U.S. and other countries are useful in assisting CBP’s mission of securing the Nation’s borders.”
CBP routinely stops illegal activities like the ones described, according to a statement.
Suspicious activity including human, drug and contraband trafficking can be reported to San Diego Border Patrol at (619) 498-9900.