Valley Police Beat: More than $750,000 hidden in Mexico-bound gas tank
U.S. Customs and Border Protection found more than $750,000 hidden in a gas tank heading for Mexico at the Calexico downtown Port of Entry on Monday. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection / July 17, 2013)
Around 10 a.m., officers working with members of the Imperial Valley Border Enforcement Security Task Force were inspecting vehicles in the U.S. headed into Mexico.
Officers targeted a silver 2005 Honda Accord driven by U.S. citizen Irma Leticia Quentin, 24, of Porterville for inspection, and a currency/firearms detector dog alerted to the gas tank area.
Officials found 42 packages of unreported U.S. currency vacuum-sealed in clear plastic bags floating in the gas tank. The money totaled $762,930, and officials found another $221 in U.S. currency on the driver.
CBP officers seized the currency and vehicle while Quentin was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents with IV BEST. The San Diego U.S. Attorney’s Office will prosecute the driver.
IV BEST is an ICE-led task force made up of officers from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
<b>Man seen jumping fence</B>
A man was seen jumping the international border fence and dropping off a package before jumping back into Mexico late Monday night near First Street and Heber Avenue, according to Calexico police call logs.
The incident was reported to police around 10 p.m. that a man jumped the fence into the U.S. carrying a brown package on his chest and left it in a grey older-model four-door vehicle parked about three meters from the fence.
The man then jumped back to Mexico. The U.S. Border Patrol was contacted to also respond.
Calexico police recovered more than 20 pounds of marijuana from the vehicle’s trunk but no arrests have been made. The car was sold to another owner just a few months ago.
Calexico police took possession of the drugs and the vehicle.
Pole copper stolen
Someone stole copper wire from five poles along the All-American Canal sometime between November and now, according to Calexico police logs.
The vandalism and theft was reported to police Monday that about seven feet of copper was taken from with pole with an approximate value of $35. The fence along the north side of the canal was cut or vandalized in three different locations. No more information was immediately available.
— Chelcey Adami, email@example.com
Fire destroys garage
SALTON CITY — A fire gutted a home’s garage and destroyed several vehicles at the corner of Grissom and Gemini avenues on Friday afternoon in Salton City.
The fire was reported at 3:10 p.m. and took about 20 minutes to extinguish, said Salton City Fire Chief Ernest Calderon. The blaze destroyed the garage, two pick-up trucks, an RV and caused an estimated $55,000 in damages.
No damage was caused to the interior of the home. Two teenage boys were in the home at the time the fire broke out, Calderon said.
The American Red Cross had provided assistance to the family, Calderon said. Several nearby fire departments assisted in extinguishing the blaze.
— Julio Morales, firstname.lastname@example.org