SALTON CITY, Calif. – Border Patrol agents from the Indio Station working at the Highway 86 checkpoint arrested a man suspected of smuggling meth and heroin inside a truck’s stick shift housing compartment Sunday afternoon.
The incident occurred at approximately 4:39 p.m., when the driver, a 19-year-old man, approached the Border Patrol checkpoint in a red 1998 Dodge Dakota pickup truck. During the primary inspection, a Border Patrol detection canine team alerted to the vehicle. Agents referred the vehicle to secondary for further inspection.
Agents conducted a thorough examination of the vehicle and discovered 22 sealed packages hidden in a non-factory compartment underneath the truck’s stick shift housing. The contents of the packages tested positive for methamphetamine and heroin.
“Ensuring the safety of our local communities is something we strive for daily.” said David S. Kim, Assistant Chief Patrol Agent. “This is another testament of the hard work and diligence of the K-9 teams we have working for the Border Patrol.”
The methamphetamine weighed 24.42 pounds with an estimated street value of $97,680 and 2.45 pounds of heroin with an estimated street value of $157,120.
The man, a United States 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 273 pounds of methamphetamine and over 23 pounds of heroin.
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.