SALTON CITY, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents from the Indio Station assigned to the Highway 86 checkpoint arrested a couple, traveling with their child, for suspected drug smuggling yesterday.
The incident occurred at approximately 6:20 p.m., after a Border Patrol agent initiated a vehicle stop of a 2006 Honda Civic approximately two miles south of the Highway 86 checkpoint.
The driver, a 23-year-old man, and his 22-year-old female passenger were traveling with their infant son.
Border Patrol agents conducted an immigration inspection on the family and requested permission to conduct a canine sniff inspection of the car. After receiving consent to conduct the inspection, the canine detection dog alerted to the lower rear part of the vehicle. The couple was escorted to the checkpoint for further investigation.
After a thorough inspection, agents found 19 packages of a white crystalline powder stuffed inside the car’s rocker panels.
“This seizure shows the depths individuals and criminal organizations are willing to go to conduct their illicit activities,” said Marc A. Lieberman Acting Patrol Agent in Charge of the Indio Station. “It is also a testament to the great work performed by Border Patrol agents who diligently safeguard our communities from the dangers these drugs pose.
The methamphetamine had a combined weight of 26.57 pounds with an estimated street value of $265,700.
The couple, both United States citizens, and the infant, were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The Child Protection Agency subsequently took custody of the infant. The vehicle and drugs were also turned over to the DEA for further investigation.
In fiscal year 2016, El Centro Sector has seized more than 528 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.