Border Patrol Agents Seize Drugs and Arrest Gang Member

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3-14-16 -  ELC methSALTON CITY – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio and El Centro stations arrested two people for attempted drug smuggling and arrested a previously deported gang member in three separate incidents the past few days.

The first incident occurred on Friday at approximately 4:15 p.m., when a Greyhound Bus approached the Highway 86 checkpoint and was referred to secondary inspection for an immigration inspection of the passengers. Agents boarded the bus and noticed a man whom appeared nervous.

After having the passengers exit the bus, a canine detection team conducted a search of the bus and discovered seven bundles of heroin wrapped in black tape, under the seat cushion in close proximity to the area where the man was sitting.

The heroin weighed 1.74 pounds and had an estimated street value of $20,880.

The man, a 26-year-old United States Citizen and the drugs were turned over to the Imperial County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force for further investigation.

The second incident happened later that day as agents from the El Centro station encountered a man that made an illegal entry 29 miles west of the Calexico West Port of Entry.

During processing, agents determined that the man, a 47-year-old Mexican citizen was previously removed from the United States and belongs to the “Sureno” criminal gang.

Agents seized these 27 bundles of methamphetamine and other drugs in past few days.

The man will be held at the Imperial County Jail pending criminal prosecution for his illegal entry.

The third incident occurred Saturday night when two women approached the Highway 86 checkpoint aboard a White Chevrolet Malibu.

The driver a 40-year-old Mexican citizen and her passenger a 31-year-old Mexican citizen appeared nervous when presenting their B1/B2 visitor visas and were referred to secondary inspection for further questioning.

At secondary inspection a canine detection team alerted to the car and after a thorough search, agents found 27 bundles of methamphetamine stuffed inside the rear rocker panels of the Malibu.

The methamphetamine had a combined weight of 29.68 pounds and an estimated value of $296,800.

The woman, drugs and vehicle were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further processing.

In fiscal year 2016, El Centro Sector has seized than 500 pounds of methamphetamine and over 124 pounds of heroin.