SALTON CITY, Calif. – Monday, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Station arrested a suspected narcotics smuggler and seized more than three pounds of methamphetamines concealed on her person.
The incident occurred at approximately 11:45 a.m., when Border Patrol agents encountered a 57-year-old male driver and a 21-year-old female passenger in a white 1994 Ford Explorer as they approached the Highway 86 checkpoint located between Westmorland and Salton City.
The inspecting agent referred the vehicle and passengers to the secondary inspection area for further inspection. During the secondary inspection, it was determined that the male was a paid “raitero” (unlicensed taxi) giving the female a ride to Los Angeles. Also while in secondary, a Canine Detection team inspected the vehicle, which revealed a positive canine alert. Upon further investigation, the female admitted to agents that she had illegal substances bandaged to her stomach and back area. The female was transporting a total of eight packages of methamphetamines.
The methamphetamine had a combined weight of 3.08 pounds with an estimated street value of $20,020.
The suspected smuggler, a legally admitted Mexican citizen, was taken into custody. U.S. Border Patrol agents turned the woman and the narcotics 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.