A dismissed Mexican judge was recently arrested as he tried to enter the US with nearly 38 pounds of cocaine hidden in his vehicle.
Eduardo Francisco Sais Peinado worked previously as a municipal judge in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. His presided over cases which mostly involved city law violations.
However, it looks like that the former judge became a violator himself when he tried to enter the US on February 10 late in the afternoon. Earlier in the day, Peinado was fired on the bench due to work-related issues, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Peinado was driving a 2007 Jeep Liberty when he tried to cross the border, but it was discovered that he was smuggling cocaine inside his vehicle. However, he repeatedly insisted to officers that he had nothing to declare in his car and he was only heading towards Chula Vista.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials located 11 packages of cocaine weighing about 17.5 kilos (38.75 pounds). The cocaine stash lined the passenger side doors of the vehicle. US geopolitical intelligence platform Stratfor reports that the amount of cocaine in the former judge’s vehicle could have sold for about $450,000 once it entered the US market.
The successful seizure of cocaine from Peinado's Jeep is credited to the use of a contraband detection device that the CBP agents used in scanning his vehicle.
CBP officers used the Buster Contraband Detector, a device that measures the density of objects being inspected for hidden narcotics and other contraband items. In this case, officers used the Buster for scanning certain parts of a vehicle that are suspected of stashing illegal items, such as tires, gas tanks, dashboards, seats, and doors.
The Buster detected that the density level of the rear and passenger doors was higher than normal, an indication that there was something stuffed inside them. The officers also X-rayed the doors when their detection dog alerted them after sniffing the passenger side of the Jeep. The white powdery substance was eventually tested positive for cocaine.
Court documents reported that Peinado pleaded not guilty to the charges and waived his right to bail. He was still held in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego.
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