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Hidden Cocaine Seized at Checkpoint in Southern California

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Blythe, Calif. - Border Patrol agents seized nearly $900,000 of cocaine at the checkpoint on Highway 78 near Palo Verde, Calif. on Tuesday.

At about 6:30 a.m., Border Patrol agents assigned to the Blythe Station encountered a 1997 Pontiac Bonneville in the checkpoint's primary inspection area. During primary inspection, a Border Patrol canine team alerted to the area near the passenger window, indicating the likely presence of narcotics or people hidden inside the vehicle.

Agents referred the Bonneville for secondary inspection where they noticed that the passenger side airbag compartment had been tampered with. Agents opened the compartment and discovered ten plastic-wrapped packages of cocaine hidden inside.

The cocaine weighed a total of 27 pounds with an estimated street value of $871,000. Border Patrol agents arrested the driver, a 23-year old lawfully admitted permanent resident, and later turned him over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) along with the vehicle and narcotics.

Since Oct. 1, 2009, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents have seized more than $10 million of cocaine.

To report suspicious activity, contact the Yuma Sector Border Patrol's toll free telephone number at 1-866-999-8727.

Last Modified: February 3, 2021