SALTON CITY, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 86 traffic checkpoint arrested man and woman, traveling with their three minor children after discovering marijuana hidden in their vehicle on Saturday.
The incident occurred at approximately 2 p.m., when Border Patrol agents at the checkpoint encountered the family. The driver, a 34-year-old man accompanied by his wife, 32, and their three minor children, in a 2014 Jeep Cherokee.
A Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to the vehicle. Agents referred the driver to secondary for further examination. Agents discovered 69 bundles of marijuana wrapped in tape concealed in the rear cargo area of the vehicle.
The marijuana weighed 159.3 pounds with an estimated street value of $95,580.
The man and woman, both United States citizens, the vehicle, and narcotics were turned over to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA) for further investigation.
The children were turned over to Child Protective Services.
A second incident occurred earlier that day at the same location approximately 10:30 a.m., when Border Patrol agents encountered a man driving a 2005 Ford F-150 at the checkpoint.
A Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to the vehicle, and agents referred the driver to secondary for further investigation. After an intensive search, agents discovered 20 packages of methamphetamine in a hidden compartment behind the back seat of the vehicle.
Acting Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Veronica Lozano said, “This is a great example of the great determination and hard work of Border Patrol agents performing their duties. It’s always a good day when illegal drugs and criminals are kept away from our communities.”
The methamphetamine had a combined weight of 50.99 pounds, with an estimated street value of $509,900.
The 47-year-old driver, a Lawfully Admitted Permanent resident and the narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
Last fiscal year, El Centro Sector seized more than 5,713 pounds of marijuana and 445 pounds of methamphetamine.
The El Centro Sector’s Community Awareness Campaign is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness on the indicators of crime and other threats. We encourage public and private sector employees to remain vigilant and play a key role in keeping our country safe. Please report any suspicious activity to the Border Community Threat Hotline at 1-800-901-2003.
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.