El Centro Sector Border Patrol Catches Woman Attempting to Smuggle more than $57,000 in Methamphetamine
Salton City, Calif.Â â€“ On Tuesday, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Station arrested a suspected narcotics smuggler with 8.8 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in a false compartment within an SUV.
The incident occurred at approximately 1:30 p.m., when Border Patrol agents encountered a 21-year-old woman driving a 2000 Mitsubishi Montero as she approached the Highway 86 checkpoint.
A Border Patrol Canine Detection team alerted to the SUV and the woman was referred for further inspection. During the inspection, agents discovered nine individually wrapped packages of methamphetamine hidden inside a false compartment located underneath the floorboard behind the back seat.
The methamphetamine had a combined weight of 8.8 pounds with an estimated street value of $57,200.
The suspected smuggler, a United States citizen, was taken into custody. The woman, vehicle, and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
Ocotillo, Calif.Â â€” Last week, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested two groups of illegal aliens that were assaulted and robbed at gunpoint as they were smuggled into the United States near Ocotillo, California.
On February 16, a group of five illegal aliens were smuggled through the mountainous area west of the Calexico, Calif. port of entry. According to statements provided by the group, two armed masked men carrying high-powered rifles assaulted and robbed them before entering the United States. A short time later, an unrelated second group of gunmen confronted the entire group and attempted to rob them of their belongings when a gunfight erupted, allegedly leaving one gunman dead at the scene. The group fled north into the U.S. where they were subsequently arrested by Border Patrol. Mexican authorities were notified and launched an operation resulting in the discovery of one shotgun with several expended shotgun rounds; no deceased persons were found at the scene. Investigation is ongoing by Mexican authorities.
The second incident occurred on February 17, when a group of eight illegal aliens were assaulted and robbed by several gunmen carrying high-powered rifles in close proximity to the first incident. The group alleged to have been held hostage at gunpoint for several hours before they overpowered and subdued the gunmen resulting in one illegal alien shot in the face and two gunmen dead. The group successfully escaped with one of the high-powered rifles and fled into the U.S. where they telephoned 911 and requested assistance. Border Patrol agents responded and provided medical assistance to the shooting victim who was airlifted to a trauma center in Palm Springs, CA. The U.S. Border Patrol, in coordination with Homeland Security Investigations and Mexican authorities launched a week long special response operation in the area. The binational, multiagency operation resulted in the seizure of one ski mask, one AK-47 and one Ruger .223, two large-capacity ammunition magazines, and the recovery of two deceased Mexican nationals.
â€œThese unfortunate events highlight the inherent dangers of crossing the border illegallyâ€, said Chief Patrol Agent Carla L. Provost of the El Centro Sector. â€œBorder violence is of great concern to the governments of Mexico and the United States and we will continue to cooperate and collaborate with our partners in an effort to establish a safe and secure border.â€