Niland, Calif. - On August 5, Indio Station agents interdicted a cocaine smuggling attempt with an estimated value of nearly $1 million.
At approximately 4 p.m., a blue Dodge Dakota pick-up truck driven by a male U.S. citizen with a male U.S. citizen as the passenger approached the primary inspection area of the Highway 111 checkpoint. A canine team performed a non-intrusive inspection and alerted to the vehicle. The vehicle was then referred to the secondary inspection area. During a subsequent search, agents discovered several packages containing cocaine wrapped in cellophane hidden within the center console.
The driver, passenger, vehicle, and cocaine were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, the El Centro Sector Border Patrol has seized more than 1,200 pounds of cocaine as compared to 170 pounds seized during Fiscal Year 2009.
Later that night, Indio Station agents rescued three illegal aliens that were located approximately 12 miles north of Niland.
At approximately 8:15 p.m., the Indio Station received a phone call from the California Highway Patrol that three subjects were lost in the desert near Gas Line Road north of the Billy Machen Bombing Range.
Indio Station agents responded to the area and at approximately 9:45 p.m. they located the three subjects and determined that all three were illegally present in the U.S. Agents provided first aid to all three illegal aliens until a Gold Cross Ambulance arrived at the scene. Two individuals were transported to Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley, Calif. where they were treated for dehydration. One of the three illegal aliens declined further medical attention and was taken to the Highway 111 Checkpoint near Niland for further processing.
All three subjects will be returned to their country of origin.