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Officers discover $580,000 worth of methamphetamine and heroin in hidden compartments

Calexico, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico downtown port of entry Wednesday discovered approximately $580,000 worth of hard narcotics concealed inside hidden compartments built into the wheels of a vehicle.

Shortly before 9 a.m. on Dec. 4, CBP officers encountered a 1998 Nissan Pathfinder SUV, driven by a 56-year-old male Mexican citizen, and referred the driver and vehicle for a more in-depth examination.

During an intensive inspection that included an alert from a CBP detector dog and use of the port’s imaging system, officers discovered 22 wrapped packages of methamphetamine and a single package of heroin concealed inside metal compartments built into all four wheels of the vehicle.

The total weight of the methamphetamine was 29 pounds and the heroin weighed of almost three pounds, with estimated street values of $556,000, and $24,000, respectively.

The driver, a resident of Thousand Palms, California, was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further processing.

The subject was transported to the Imperial County Jail for arraignment.

CBP placed an immigration hold on the driver to initiate removal from the United States at the conclusion of his criminal proceedings.

CBP seized the vehicle and narcotics.

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