SALTON CITY, CALIF.—Today, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Station apprehended a suspected narcotics smuggler at the Highway 86 checkpoint and seized 15 bundles of cocaine.
The incident occurred at approximately 3:30 a.m. when agents encountered a 53-year-old man driving a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac as he approached the Highway 86 checkpoint located between Westmorland and Salton City. A Border Patrol canine team alerted to the vehicle and referred the driver to secondary for further inspection. Upon inspection of the vehicle, agents discovered 15 bundles of cocaine concealed within the vehicle's gas tank.
The cocaine had a combined weight of approximately 38.7 pounds with an estimated street value of $1,238,400.
The man, a citizen of Mexico and Lawfully Admitted Permanent Resident card holder, was arrested as the sole suspect in the case. The suspect, vehicle, and narcotics were turned over to 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.