SALTON CITY, Calif. – Wednesday, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Station arrested a suspected narcotics smuggler and seized more than one pound of cocaine concealed on her person at the Highway 86 checkpoint.
The incident occurred at approximately 9:45 a.m., when Border Patrol agents encountered a 67-year-old male driver and a 22-year-old female passenger in a silver 2013 Hyundai Sonata as they approached the checkpoint located between Westmorland and Salton City.
The inspecting agent referred the vehicle to secondary inspection for a closer examination. During inspection, agents determined that the man was a paid “raitero” (unlicensed taxi) giving the woman a ride.
While in secondary, a Canine Detection team inspected the vehicle, which resulted in a positive canine alert. Upon further investigation, the woman admitted to agents that she had illegal substances taped to her upper thigh area.
The woman was transporting a total of two packages of cocaine.
The cocaine had a combined weight of 1.3 pounds with a value of more than $13,000.
The woman, a United States citizen and the 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 148 pounds of cocaine.
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.