Three teens were taken into custody in three separate attempts to smuggle the drug fentanyl across the U.S.-Mexico border, according to federal officials.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the incidents occurred on March 30 and 31 at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
CBP officials stated:
-- On Friday, Mar. 30, at about 7:20 p.m., CBP officers at the San Ysidro Pedestrian East border crossing encountered a 17-year-old male Mexican citizen. A CBP officer conducting inspections at the primary booth noticed some inconsistencies and conducted a visual search of the teen, revealing an anomaly on his back. A CBP officer conducted an immediate pat down for weapons and discovered two packages strapped to his back. CBP officers later identified the two packages as fentanyl weighing over 4 pounds. The fentanyl carries an estimated street value of $141,000.
-- On Saturday, Mar. 31, at about 8:20 p.m., CBP officers at the San Ysidro Pedestrian West border crossing encountered a 15-year-old male Mexican citizen. A CBP officer noticed some discrepancies during the inspection and referred the teen for further examination. During the escort, the CBP officer noticed a bulge on the teen's back and subsequently discovered two packages strapped to him. CBP officers later identified the two packages as fentanyl weighing just under 5 pounds. The fentanyl carries an estimated street value of $143,000.
-- Ten minutes later, at about 8:30 p.m., CBP officers at the San Ysidro Pedestrian West border crossing encountered a 17-year-old male U.S. citizen. A CBP officer noticed a bulge on the teen's back and discovered two packages strapped to him. CBP officers later identified the two packages as fentanyl weighing just under 5 pounds. The fentanyl carries an estimated street value of $143,000.
The teens in each case were arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations. The all drugs were seized by CBP officers.
Pete Flores, the director of Field Operations for Customs and Border Protection in San Diego, said, "These cases all involve juveniles allegedly attempting to smuggle a dangerous and lethal narcotic such as fentanyl. Fentanyl is known to be 50 to 100 times more deadly than heroin. Dangers associated with the unfamiliarity of handling fentanyl can be deadly. Please understand that no matter what you may be told, there are consequences for engaging in this type of activity, not to mention the dangers of working with transnational criminal organizations."
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