SALTON CITY, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 86 checkpoint, arrested a man suspected of smuggling methamphetamine inside his pickup’s gas tank on Friday morning.
The incident occurred at approximately 11:40 a.m., when a 66-year-old man approached the checkpoint in a 2003 Chevy Silverado. Before the driver reached the primary inspection area, a Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to the driver’s side of the vehicle.
Agents referred the man to secondary inspection for a closer inspection of his pickup.
Upon further inspection, Border Patrol agents found 74 packages stuffed inside the pickup’s gas tank. Agents tested the contents of the packages. That test indicated a positive for characteristics of methamphetamine.
The total weight of the methamphetamine was 77.22 pounds with an estimated street value of $270,270.
Gas tanks are a common hiding place drug traffickers use to smuggle their narcotics.
The man, a naturalized citizen, the vehicle and narcotics were turned-over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
In fiscal year 2018, El Centro Sector has seized more than 197.54 pounds of methamphetamine.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.