Niland, Calif. - Today, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio station arrested a drug smuggler with more than 36 pounds of cocaine hidden inside vehicle tires.
The incident occurred this morning around 7 a.m., after a Border Patrol canine team alerted to a green Dodge Dakota, while performing a cursory search at the Highway 111 Checkpoint near Niland. Agents inspecting the truck with a large-scale imaging system noted several discrepancies in the vehicle tires. Upon further investigation, agents discovered 15 concealed packages of narcotics inside non-factory compartments built into the truck tires. The substance inside the packages tested positive for cocaine and was given an estimated street value of more than $1.1 million.
The suspect, a 22-year-old U.S. citizen, was placed under arrest and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the truck and narcotics.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 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.