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Bus seizure results in over $1 million worth of cocaine

SAN DIEGO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers from the San Ysidro Port of Entry seized over $1 million worth of cocaine concealed in a commercial passenger bus, over the weekend.

CBP officers discovered a total of 60 packages concealed within the air conditioning exchange and spare tire of a bus. The narcotics were field tested and identified as cocaine weighing 144.84 pounds with an estimated street value of $1,116,900.

On Saturday, at approximately 10:16 p.m., CBP officers encountered a 64-year-old man driving an empty commercial passenger bus, applying for admission into the United States from Mexico at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. 

During initial examination, a CBP officer referred the driver and the bus for further inspection. 

At the inspection area, a non-intrusive examination of the bus was conducted. CBP officers utilized the port’s imaging system to screen the bus and observed irregularities in the spare tire. A CBP officer thoroughly examined the bus and discovered packages concealed in the air conditioning exchange. A CBP K-9 team screened the bus and received a positive alert to the presence of narcotics. 

CBP officers discovered a total of 60 packages concealed within the air conditioning exchange and spare tire of the bus. The narcotics were field tested and identified as cocaine weighing 144.84 pounds with an estimated street value of $1,116,900.

“Interdictions like this highlight our collective efforts to continually prevent dangerous drugs from entering our communities,” said Mariza Marin, Port Director of the San Ysidro Port of Entry. 

The subject was turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations for further processing. CBP officers seized the commercial passenger bus and narcotics.

The narcotics were field tested and identified as cocaine weighing 144.84 pounds with an estimated street value of $1,116,900.

This seizure is part of Operation Apollo. Operation Apollo is a joint regional operation comprised of federal, state, and local agencies working to combat the threat from fentanyl, and other illicit synthetic narcotics. More information about Operation Apollo can be found here.

CBP officers at the border crossing in Southern California stop illegal activity while processing millions of legitimate travelers into the United States. Those statistics can be found here: CBP-enforcement-statistics

Follow the Director of CBP’s San Diego Field Office on Twitter at @DFOSanDiegoCA for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the comprehensive management, control, and protection of our nation’s borders, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection at and between official ports of entry.