Agents prevent drug smuggling attempt and arrest a convicted felon

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Salton City, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents had a busy weekend that included the arrest of a suspected narcotics smuggler in possession of over $76,000 in heroin, and the arrest of a convicted felon recently released from prison.

The first incident occurred Sunday, at approximately 5:30 p.m., when a 25-year-old male, driving a grey 1994 Oldsmobile bearing Sinaloa, Mexico license plates approached the Border Patrol checkpoint located between Westmorland and Salton City. Agents directed him to secondary inspection where a Border Patrol canine team conducted a cursory inspection resulting in an alert around the driver’s seat of the vehicle.

Border Patrol agents conducted a pat down of the man, which revealed a vacuum sealed package of heroin wrapped with white electrical tape, concealed in his groin area. The heroin had a combined weight of 2.39 pounds and an estimated street value of over $76,000. The man, a Mexican citizen and holder of a B1/B2 Visa was arrested as the sole suspect in the case.

The suspect, narcotics, and vehicle were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The second significant event occurred yesterday near Ocotillo, Calif. At approximately 6 p.m., agents assigned to the El Centro Border Patrol Station arrested Jose Lui Gobea-Diego, a 49-year-old man and Mexican national who illegally entered the United States.

Record checks revealed that Gobea has an extensive criminal history and is a convicted felon who was sentenced to 11 years in prison for manslaughter. Gobea was released from the California Calipatria Prison in February of 2013. An Immigration Judge ordered Gobea deported twice, in September 1984 and March 2013. Gobea is currently being held for criminal prosecution.

The El Centro Sector’s Community Awareness Campaign is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness on the indicators of crime and other threats. We encourage public and private sector employees to remain vigilant and play a key role in keeping our country safe. Please report any suspicious activity to the Border Community Threat Hotline at (800) 901-2003.