SALTON CITY, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint arrested a man suspected of smuggling methamphetamine on Saturday morning.
The incident occurred at approximately 11:30 a.m. after a 35-year-old man approached the checkpoint in a white Infiniti SUV.
During primary inspection, a Border Patrol canine team alerted to the vehicle. Agents then referred the vehicle to secondary inspection for further examination.
At secondary inspection, the canine team alerted towards the rear end of the vehicle. Agents investigated further and discovered 25 sealed packages concealed in the vehicle’s gas tank. The packages were examined and tested positive for the characteristics of methamphetamine.
The combined weight of the packages totaled 27.29 pounds, with an estimated street value of $87,328.
The man, a Lawfully Permanent Resident, was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the vehicle and narcotics for further investigation.
El Centro Border Patrol has stopped a few similar smuggling schemes that utilized vehicle gas tanks in the past month. Cocaine and heroin was found in one gas tank and 67 packages of methamphetamine were discovered in another.
Since fiscal year 2017, which started Oct. 1, 2016, El Centro Sector seized more than 1000.29 pounds of methamphetamine.