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Nearly 500 pounds of cocaine in wrapped packages was found in a fuel tank of a Ford F-350 pickup trying to come into the U.S. through the Calexico West Port of Entry on Thursday, Oct. 29. The driver was arrested and jailed on suspicion of smuggling. | COURTESY PHOTO

CBP Officers in Calexico Seize Almost 500 Pounds of Cocaine

CALEXICO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico West Port of Entry caught about 480 pounds of cocaine valued around $7.6 million during a single seizure on Thursday, Oct. 29, according to a press release.

Around 8 a.m., a 46-year-old driver of a 2008 Ford F350 pickup allegedly attempted to smuggle the cocaine concealed in an auxiliary fuel tank located on the bed of the truck, the release states. The inspecting CBP officer referred the driver and vehicle for further examination due to inconsistencies with the driver’s story.

As the truck drove through the x-ray imaging system, the operator identified anomalies in the bed area of the vehicle, according to CBP.

Officers screened the vehicle with a drug-detecting dog, which alerted to the non-factory auxiliary fuel tank located on the bed of the truck. CBP officers searched the vehicle and discovered 182 packages of cocaine weighing 480 pounds hidden in a special compartment inside the tank.

CBP officers immediately arrested the subject and turned him over to Homeland Security Investigations, the release states. CBP officers seized the vehicle and narcotics.

The driver, a U.S. Citizen, was transported and booked into GEO Federal Detention Facility in El Centro on suspicion of smuggling drugs.

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