NILAND, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Station working at the Highway 111 checkpoint, arrested a woman suspected of drug smuggling after they discovered packages of cocaine hidden in her vehicle on Wednesday.
The incident occurred at approximately 4 p.m., after a woman driving a recent model BMW 328i approached the checkpoint.
A Border Patrol detection canine alerted to the vehicle during a pre-primary inspection. Agents referred the woman to the secondary inspection area for a closer examination.
After an intensive search, agents discovered 28 bundles of cocaine hidden in the vehicle’s rocker panels.
The cocaine had a combined weight of 70.1 pounds with an estimated street value of $841,200.
“This seizure not only denies Transnational Criminal Organizations the money and resources needed to continue their illicit activities but also helps keep our communities safe,” said Patrol Agent in Charge Scott Garrett of the Indio Station.
The woman, a 30-year-old United States citizen, the vehicle, and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
So far for fiscal year 2016, El Centro Sector has seized more than 148 pounds of cocaine.
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.