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Border Agents Find Woman in Van Wall

March 07, 2012  | 

Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers uncovered a female illegal immigrant stuffed inside the wall of a van during a weekend that also netted the agency nearly $5.9 million in narcotics seizures.

CBP officers intercepted more than 1,110 pounds of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin valued at almost $5.9 million from Friday through Sunday, according to the agency. Over the same period, officers at the San Ysidro port of entry detained 12 illegal immigrants.

The woman found behind a van panel may have been the most surprising. On Friday at about 11:30 p.m., CBP officers encountered a 1993 Dodge Caravan driven by a 43-year-old U.S. citizen and resident of Vista, Calif. During the inspection the CBP officer noted that the driver-side quarter panel felt and sounded unusual when tapped, and referred the vehicle for a more intensive inspection.

CBP officers removed the plastic panel covering the side wall of the vehicle and discovered a woman hiding inside. CBP officers determined that the woman is a Mexican national who was unable to legally enter the United States.

CBP officers paroled the woman into the U.S. to serve as a material witness to the incident before she is returned to Mexico. The driver was booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center and will face criminal charges. CBP officers seized the vehicle.

Tags: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Smuggling, U.S.-Mexico Border


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