Pine Valley, Calif. - Friday morning, U.S. Border Patrol agents extracted more than 166 pounds of marijuana from the gas tank of a white Chevrolet Silverado during a checkpoint inspection on Interstate 8 near Pine Valley, Calif.
A 30-year-old male resident of Brawley, Calif. was arrested in connection with the seizure after agents encountered him driving a white Chevrolet Silverado into the checkpoint at about 8:30 a.m. A K-9 team alerted to the vehicle, prompting further inspection. In the secondary inspection area, agents examined the vehicle and noticed that the undercarriage and gas tank had been tampered with.
Agents utilized non-intrusive detection technology and observed what appeared to be bundles in the gas tank. The agents disassembled the gas tank and discovered 76 cellophane wrapped marijuana bundles, which had a total weight of 166.62 lbs and an estimated street value of $138,368.
The U.S. Border Patrol seized the vehicle; and the suspect and narcotics were turned over to the San Diego Sherriff's department.
The U.S. Border Patrol canines continue to be a proven asset in the detection of concealed drugs and contraband. The U.S. Border Patrol deploys coordinated enforcement operations along major routes of egress to prevent the smuggling of illicit narcotics into the country.
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.