SALTON CITY, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents from the Indio Station assigned to the Highway 86 checkpoint arrested a man suspected of smuggling drugs hidden inside the rear seat of his vehicle Tuesday afternoon.
The arrest occurred at approximately 11:40 a.m., when a 60-year-old man approached the Border Patrol checkpoint driving a silver 2000 Ford Windstar minivan.
As the vehicle neared the primary inspection booth a Border Patrol K9 team alerted to the vehicle. The agent referred the driver for a secondary inspection.
During the inspection the K9 team again alerted again to the minivan. A search of the vehicle revealed an anomaly within the rear seat.
Inside the seat, agents found 18 plastic wrapped bundles; 15 tested positive for the characteristics of cocaine and three tested positive for the characteristics of methamphetamine.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of these seizures,” said David S. Kim, Assistant Chief Patrol Agent. “Every pound of illegal narcotics we seize translates into a safer community and a loss of revenue for dangerous drug smuggling organizations.”
The cocaine bundles had a combined weight of 37.39 pounds with an estimated street value of $454,800 while the methamphetamine bundles amounted to 9.24 pounds for a value of $36,960.
The man, a Mexican citizen, the vehicle, and the narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
In fiscal year 2017, El Centro Sector has seized more than 188 pounds of cocaine and 180 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.