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  4. Border Patrol Agents immigration stop yields 29 pounds of Fentanyl on Interstate 10

Border Patrol Agents immigration stop yields 29 pounds of Fentanyl on Interstate 10

Release Date
Wed, 05/22/2024
Fentanyl concealed 1
Indio Station Border Patrol agents arrested a female driver of a vehicle transporting 29 lbs. of fentanyl. 

INDIO, Calif., - Border Patrol agents assigned to Indio Border Patrol Station arrested the female driver of a vehicle transporting 29 lbs. of deadly fentanyl on Wednesday morning.

On May 15, at 9:32 a.m., Border Patrol agents in agency marked vehicles were operating in conjunction with Operation Apollo, on Interstate 10 near Golf Center Parkway. The driver of a white SUV passed their position and applied their brakes. Agents followed the vehicle and conducted record checks on the vehicle. The record checks came back, and agents performed a vehicle stop.

The driver yielded on the side of the Interstate and agents questioned the driver. The driver and her two underage children claimed to be U.S. citizens, but record checks revealed that she was an undocumented illegal alien present in the U.S. The children were both U.S. citizens. The driver’s responses were inconsistent, therefore raising the agents’ suspicions.

""Fentanyl concealment 2
The K-9 unit alerted to the rear seat area where in plain sight agents observed a sealed box. After opening the box, agents discovered the blue pills in a cellophane wrapped package.

A canine unit, trained to detect narcotics and concealed persons arrived on scene and requested permission to search the vehicle. The K-9 unit alerted to the rear seat area where in plain sight agents observed a sealed box containing shelves.  Agents handled the box and felt that it was heavier than what the image of the wrapped package should have been.

The box was shaken, and agents could hear something moving around inside. Agents opened the box which contained three black shelves and noticed the paint on them was still fresh and tacky, additionally there were no pre-drilled holes customary for this type of shelf, and there was no hardware inside the box.

Agents questioned the driver concerning the contents of the shelves, and the driver refused to give consent to open them. Agents reassured the driver that if anything was broken by them, they would issue a reimbursement form to the driver. The shelves were opened, and agents discovered a cellophane wrapped package consistent with narcotics smuggling. Inside the packages were blue pills marked with M-30, a sample was taken and was positive for fentanyl.

The total weight of the fentanyl pills was 29 lbs. This is enough to wipe out a city of 6.8 million people, or the whole population of Indiana.

"Border security professionals make apprehending dangerous drugs and people their personal responsibility here in the El Centro Sector," said Chief Patrol Agent Gregory Bovino. "This particular undocumented smuggler used two children in the smuggling scheme which is horrifying.  No regard for human life here folks, only greed." added Chief Bovino.

The driver an undocumented illegal alien was arrested, and along with the narcotics and vehicle were turned over to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Bureau, for further investigation. The two children were turned over to their father.

This seizure is the result of Operation Apollo, a holistic counter-fentanyl effort that began on October 26, 2023 in southern California, and expanded to Arizona on April 10, 2024. Operation Apollo focuses on intelligence collection and partnerships, and utilizes local CBP field assets augmented by federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners to boost resources, increase collaboration, and target the smuggling of fentanyl into the United States.  

Please visit to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. For all El Centro Sector news, follow them on @CBPElCentro and @USBPChiefELC, and on Instagram @USBPChiefELC

Last Modified: May 22, 2024