SALTON CITY, Calif. – Wednesday, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Station arrested a suspected narcotics smuggler and seized more than two pounds of heroin concealed within his shoes.
The incident occurred at approximately 10:50 p.m., when Border Patrol agents encountered a 49-year-old male driver and his 20-year-old male passenger in a white 1993 Toyota Camry as they approached the Highway 86 checkpoint located between Westmorland and Salton City.
The inspecting agent referred the vehicle and passenger to the secondary inspection area for further inspection. During the secondary inspection, it was determined that the driver was a paid “raitero” (unlicensed taxi) giving the passenger a ride. Upon further investigation, the agents discovered that the passenger had illegal substances concealed within his shoes which tested positive for heroin.
The heroin had a combined weight of 2.04 pounds with an estimated street value of $20,400.
The suspected smuggler and driver were taken into custody. U.S. Border Patrol agents turned the two men, narcotics and vehicle over to agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
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.