NILAND, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 111 checkpoint, arrested a man suspected of smuggling methamphetamine hidden inside an engine’s firewall compartment on Monday morning.
The incident occurred at approximately 10:27 a.m., after a 54-year-old man approached the checkpoint in a green 2010 Jeep Compass.
During primary inspection, a Border Patrol detection canine team alerted to the vehicle. Agents referred the man to secondary inspection for a closer examination.
After further inspection of the vehicle, agents discovered 45 packages hidden in the vehicle’s engine firewall compartment. The packages were examined and tested positive for the characteristics of methamphetamine.
“Communities all over the nation are reeling from the destruction that methamphetamines leave in its wake,” said David S. Kim, Assistant Chief Patrol Agent. “This seizure illustrates how Border Patrol agents protect those in our communities from all threats to safety and security encountered.”
The combined weight of the packages totaled 42.62 pounds with an estimated street value of $170,468.
The man, a Permanent Legal Resident, the vehicle, and the narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
Since fiscal year 2017, which started Oct. 1, 2016, El Centro Sector seized more than 431.80 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.