A U.S. citizen who plays soccer professionally in Mexico faces federal drug trafficking charges after U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found nearly 48 pounds of methamphetamine in his car last week, according to court documents.
Daniel Andres Gomez, 21, was stopped at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry south of San Diego on April 5, and he was arrested after a CBPO agent noticed the spare tire in the trunk of his 2005 Chrysler Sebring “was not a normal weight” and “had hard spots.” Agents initially found 28 pounds of meth, but a further inspection of the vehicle conducted later located an additional 19.62 pounds of the illegal drug placed in 11 packages and hidden in the quarter panels of the car.
Daniel Andres Gomez, who plays for Mexican 2nd division side Xolos, was arrested after trying to smuggle amphetamines across the US border 😳 pic.twitter.com/QmThbytSrg— UNILAD Football (@UNILADFooty) April 12, 2017
Gomez told the federal agents he was headed into the U.S. to have breakfast alone at a Denny’s before heading back to Tijuana for soccer practice. He was scheduled to begin training camp later in the day for an affiliate of Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente, a franchise that plays in Liga MX, according to local news media reports.
He told authorities that, while the car was his, he had just re-acquired it a couple of months prior when he “decided to trade back due to mechanical problems with the new vehicle.”
Gomez is charged with a single count of violating the Controlled Substances Act by “knowingly or intentionally imports or exports a controlled substance.” Under U.S. law, Gomez faces at least five years in prison if convicted.
Gomez, who lives in Tijuana, was ordered to be held without bail by federal magistrate judge William V. Gallo on Tuesday. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.