SALTON CITY, Calif. – Tuesday, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio station arrested a suspected narcotics smuggler and seized more than 15 pounds of methamphetamine concealed within a hidden aftermarket compartment.
The incident occurred at approximately 8:45 a.m., when Border Patrol agents encountered a 33-year-old man, driving a GMC Sonoma Pickup truck with Baja California plates as he approached the Highway 86 checkpoint located between Westmorland and Salton City.
El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents at the Highway 86 checkpoint discover more than 15 pounds of methamphetamine hidden within an aftermarket compartment after an inspection of the vehicle’s firewall.
Agents referred the driver to the secondary inspection area. During the secondary inspection a canine detection team alerted to the vehicle’s engine compartment and firewall area. Agents conducted an inspection of the vehicle’s firewall and discovered an aftermarket compartment filled with 16 cellophane wrapped packages of methamphetamine concealed inside. An aftermarket Global Positioning System tracking device was also recovered from under the vehicle’s steering column.
The methamphetamine had a combined weight of 15.39 pounds with an estimated street value of $100,039.
The man, a United States citizen was taken into custody. The vehicle and methamphetamine was 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.