TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Two “not so trusted travelers” were caught trying to smuggle over 100 lbs of narcotics past U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
According to CBP, officers intercepted two separate SENTRI members, who attempted to smuggle over a combined $1 million worth of narcotics at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa port of entry.
SENTRI, or the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection, is a CBP program that allows expedited clearance for “pre-approved, low-risk travelers” upon arrival in the U.S.
Authorities said the first stop happened Wednesday, April 26 around 5:15 a.m. when officers encountered a 71-year-old man driving a pick-up truck through the dedicated commuter lane. During an initial inspection of the vehicle, officers noticed the truck’s spare tire had been tampered with.
Further inspection found “irregularities” in the tire which was found to be stashing a total of 54 packages of methamphetamine. The combined weight of the packages was 49.03 pounds, with an estimated street value of $322,480.
The next day around 4:50 a.m., CBP officers encountered a 21-year-old man who was driving a 2007 Toyota sedan through the dedicated commuter lane.
Further inspection of the vehicle uncovered packages 20 packages of cocaine concealed in the rear seat backrest. The narcotics had a total weight of 52.11 lbs, and an estimated street value of $827,400.
CBP officers seized both vehicles and narcotics. Both drivers were detained for alleged narcotic smuggling attempt and were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further processing.