By MADISON HIRNEISEN
THE CENTER SQUARE STAFF REPORTER
(The Center Square) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials at the Calexico entry port recently discovered 174 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in the cross beams of a rail car, the federal agency announced Monday.
CBP officers discovered 30 packages of methamphetamine concealed in the cross beams of a railcar when scanning a train from Mexico using an X-ray imaging system on July 4. Officials noticed “abnormalities” in one of the rail cars during the scan, and a narcotics dog was used to search the train. The dog alerted officers to the presence of narcotics, CBP said in a news release.
The 174 pounds of methamphetamine, which the agency estimates is worth a street value of $314,000, was seized by CBP officials.
“CBP officers work diligently to stop all smuggling attempts of dangerous drugs as well as other prohibited items,” Anne Maricich, CBP deputy director of field operations in San Diego, said in a statement. “Transnational criminal organizations will attempt to use any method they think might work. While finding narcotics in a rail car is highly unusual, it’s one of the reasons that CBP officers inspect every conveyance that enters the U.S.”
This is one of several instances this year in which CBP officials intercepted narcotics entering California. In April, four U.S. citizens were arrested for attempting to smuggle drugs into the country. One resident was arrested for possessing 64 pounds of methamphetamine, while three others were arrested during a separate incident for possessing 12 pounds of cocaine and 13.5 pounds of fentanyl.
Madison Hirneisen covers California for The Center Square.