SALTON CITY, CALIF.—El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio station apprehended several suspected narcotics smugglers and seized over $1.5 million worth of illegal narcotics.
The first event occurred on February 9, at approximately 7:15 a.m. when a male, 41-year-old driver approached the Highway 111 Border Patrol checkpoint near Niland. A canine alerted to the vehicle, a grey 1986 Chevrolet Silverado, and was subsequently referred to secondary for further inspection. Upon further investigation, agents discovered 13 packages of methamphetamine concealed within the vehicle.
The methamphetamine had a combined weight of approximately 13 pounds and an estimated street value of over $430,000. The man, a citizen of Mexico with a visitor's immigration visa, was arrested as the sole suspect in the case.
The second incident occurred on February 10, at approximately 10:30 a.m. at the Highway 86 checkpoint, when a 26-year-old male driver approached the Border Patrol checkpoint located between Westmorland and Salton City. A canine alerted to the vehicle, a grey Ford F-150, and was subsequently referred to secondary inspection. Upon further investigation, agents discovered seven packages of cocaine concealed within the vehicle.
The cocaine had a combined weight of approximately 18 pounds and an estimated street value of over $573,000. The man, a citizen of Mexico with a visitor's immigration visa, was arrested as the sole suspect in the case.
The third incident occurred last night, when agents stopped a gold Mitsubishi Montero with two female occupants near the intersection of Highway 86 and Avenue 52 in Coachella. A Border Patrol canine team was requested and alerted to the vehicle. Upon further investigation, agents discovered ten packages of methamphetamine concealed within an ottoman in the rear of the vehicle.
The methamphetamine had a combined weight of approximately 19 pounds and an estimated street value of over $636,000. The driver, a 57-year-old naturalized United States citizen, as well as the passenger, a 69-year-old Mexican citizen, were arrested as the sole suspects in the case.
All suspects, vehicles, and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
The El Centro Sector's Community Awareness Campaign is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness on the indicators of crime and other threats. We encourage public and private sector employees to remain vigilant and play a key role in keeping our country safe. Please report any suspicious activity to the Border Community Threat Hotline at (800) 901-2003.
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.