An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

  1. Home
  2. Newsroom
  3. Local Media Release
  4. U.S. Border Patrol seizes $395k worth of cocaine at checkpoint

U.S. Border Patrol seizes $395k worth of cocaine at checkpoint

Release Date
Fri, 03/22/2024
For More Information
(202) 344-1780

INDIO, Calif., – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a 20-year-old woman for the suspected smuggling of 34 pounds of cocaine on Tuesday evening.

On March 19, at approximately 5:00 p.m., a black sedan approached the primary inspection area of the U.S. Border Patrol’s immigration checkpoint on Highway 86. The agent in primary referred the driver to a secondary inspection. In secondary, a U.S. Border Patrol K-9 unit trained to detect concealed persons and narcotics conducted an open-air sniff of the vehicle, which prompted agents to search the trunk. The search of the trunk resulted in the discovery of a black bag containing several packages wrapped in brown paper consistent with narcotics smuggling.

A total of 15 packages were removed from the vehicle. Agents tested the contents of the packages with positive results for the presence of cocaine. The total weight of the cocaine was 34 pounds with an estimated street value of $395,000.00.


Event photo; description located in caption.
After a K-9 detection team alerted them, U.S. Border Patrol agents discovered and seized 34 pounds of cocaine concealed in the trunk of a vehicle.


The woman, a U.S. citizen, was arrested for the transportation of a controlled substance. She, the narcotics, and vehicle were turned over to Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation and prosecution.

This seizure is part of Operation Apollo. Operation Apollo is a joint regional operation comprised of federal, state, and local agencies working to combat the threat from fentanyl, and other illicit synthetic narcotics. More information about Operation Apollo.

"This suspected drug smuggler probably wasn't planning on building a snowman with these 34 pounds of cocaine,” said El Centro Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino. "Instead, her plans were melted down when vigilant Indio Station Border Patrol agents thwarted her attempt. As usual, I am proud of our agents."

Last Modified: Mar 29, 2024