US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Border Patrol Arrests Armed Smuggler at Checkpoint

Release Date: 
April 30, 2020

SALTON CITY, Calif. El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint arrested a man with a loaded gun and narcotics on Wednesday.

El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint arrested a man with a loaded gun and narcotics on Wednesday. The incident occurred at approximately 4 p.m., when a 26-year-old man approached the primary inspection area of the checkpoint in a silver BMW.  A Border Patrol K-9 detection team alerted to the vehicle in the primary inspection lane.  Agents directed the vehicle to enter the secondary inspection area for further investigation.

While in secondary inspection, Agents were able to see a handgun with a magazine inserted within the driver’s door pocket through the passenger window.  Agents removed the driver from the vehicle, safely secured the weapon and confirmed that it was loaded with 10 rounds.  Agents discovered a box containing 21 rounds of 9mm ammunition in a backpack located in the trunk of the vehicle.  A search of the subject revealed a small amount of methamphetamine in his side pant pocket.

Agents continued to search the vehicle and discovered multiple fast food bags and drinks in the back seat.  Agents continued to search the vehicle and discovered multiple fast food bags and drinks in the back seat.  Agents began a search around the checkpoint area for possible occupants attempting to circumvent the checkpoint by walking around it.  During the search, agents received a citizen’s call informing them of three individuals inside a ranch near the checkpoint.  Agents responded and made contact with the individuals. Agents confirmed that all three men were from Mexico and were illegally present in the United States.  Agents were able to immediately link at least one from the group to having traveled in the silver BMW. 

The three men, a 46, 36 and 28-year-old, were placed under arrest and transported to the checkpoint for further processing.

The driver, a United States citizen, was placed under arrest and will be held in federal custody pending criminal charges.

The case was presented for prosecution under 8 USC 1324 Illegal Alien Smuggling.

Last modified: 
April 30, 2020