Westmorland, Calif. - U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Station recently arrested two smugglers with nearly $1 million worth of narcotics.
The first incident occurred Tuesday morning at approximately 9 a.m., when agents began interviewing commercial bus passengers at the Highway 86 Checkpoint near Westmorland. During interviews, one of the passengers - a 49-year-old male U.S. citizen - admitted to carrying a large amount of heroin on his person. A pat down of the suspect resulted in agents finding two packages of more than five pounds of black tar heroin hidden under his clothing. The heroin was valued at more than $170,000.
The following day, at approximately 2 p.m., agents encountered a silver Chrysler Town & County being driven by a 21-year-old male U.S. citizen. During inspection, a Border Patrol canine alerted to the vehicle and the driver was referred for further review. After a thorough search of the vehicle, agents discovered 24 pounds of cocaine packaged in a non-factory compartment. The total street value of the cocaine was estimated at more than $790,000.
All suspects and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
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.