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  4. Border Patrol agents seize $130,000 worth of Fentanyl pills from U.S. citizen

Border Patrol agents seize $130,000 worth of Fentanyl pills from U.S. citizen

Release Date
Thu, 02/29/2024

INDIO, Calif. — El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a U.S. citizen for attempting to smuggle fentanyl through an immigration checkpoint on Wednesday evening.

El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents seized 9.7 pounds of fentanyl with an estimated street value of $130,000.

The incident occurred at approximately 6:30 p.m., when a ride-share taxi driver, carrying four passengers, entered the inspection area of the U.S. Border Patrol immigration checkpoint on Highway 86. 

The agent in the primary inspection area referred the vehicle for further investigation. In the secondary area a K-9 team trained to detect concealed humans and narcotics asked for consent to search the vehicle from the driver and was granted permission. The K-9 alerted to the trunk area of the vehicle. The trunk was opened, and agents found several bags inside. The K-9 alerted to a backpack and a speaker that belonged to an individual who claimed them as his property.

A search of the speaker and the backpack resulted in the discovery of several wrapped packages consistent with wrapping commonly used to transport illegal narcotics. A sample was taken from one of the packages and was positive for the presence of fentanyl.

The total weight of the fentanyl was 9.7 pounds with an estimated street value of $130,000.

The passenger a U.S. citizen was arrested and was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the narcotics.

This seizure is part of Operation Apollo. Operation Apollo is a joint regional operation comprised of federal, state, and local agencies working to combat the threat from fentanyl, and other illicit synthetic narcotics. More information about Operation Apollo can be found here.

Please visit to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. For all El Centro Sector news, follow them on  Icon

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Last Modified: Feb 29, 2024