Club Tijuana reserve facing importation of methamphetamine charges

Daniel Gomez, a defender for Xolos' third-division side, is being held in the United States on suspicion of bringing drugs into the country.

Daniel Gomez, a defender for Club Tijuana's Segunda Premier club, is being held in the United States on charges of importing 47.75 pounds (21.66 kilograms) of methamphetamine into the country, according to an amended complaint filed Monday to a U.S. district court and acquired by Goal.

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Gomez's family reported him missing Thursday after he didn't attend an 8 a.m. training session Wednesday, saying he requested an Uber early Wednesday morning and hadn't been seen since. According to the U.S. Department of Justice's complaint against him, though, Gomez was in U.S. custody at that time after driving across the border at the Otay Mesa crossing in a Chrysler Sebring he owns.

The 21-year-old U.S. citizen told the border agent he was headed to work in the U.S., according to the complaint, but upon inspection the agent noticed Gomez's spare tire was unusually heavy and sent him for a secondary inspection. The agent there "discovered twenty-three packages, wrapped in clear plastic wrap, carbon paper, cardboard, and packing tape," the document says. Upon opening the package, the officer found "a clear crystal like substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine."

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The discovery was made just before 6 a.m., and about three hours later Gomez waived his Miranda rights and agreed to an interview with Homeland Security investigators, whom he told "he was traveling to the United States to go to Denny's located in National City," the document reads. "Gomez stated that he was going to have breakfast by himself and then return to Tijuana, MX to go to soccer practice at 8:00. Gomez claimed he did not know anything about the drugs in the vehicle."

Officials claim to have located 28.13 pounds (12.76 kilograms) of methamphetamine in the spare tire, while a later search revealed 11 more packages in the vehicle's quarter panels weighing 19.62 pounds (8.9 kilograms), bringing the total to 47.75 pounds (21.66 kilograms).

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Gomez is scheduled for a detention hearing Wednesday and a preliminary hearing April 18.

The defender has played 335 minutes over five matches for Xolos in the Segunda Premier, Mexico's third division that often is filled with players too old for the Under-20 team but not ready for first-team action. He also was sent off in one match, according to the league's website.

Club Tijuana declined to comment when a spokesman was reached late Monday night.