SALTON CITY — El Centro Sector U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Indio Station assigned to the Highway 86 checkpoint Wednesday arrested a man suspected of smuggling drugs inside his car’s exhaust system.
The incident occurred at approximately 6:45 p.m. when a 26-year-old man approached the Border Patrol checkpoint in a black 2004 Honda coupe.
During primary inspection, the man stated that he was a United States citizen and presented a partially torn birth certificate. The agent referred the driver to secondary for further inspection.
During the inspection, a Border Patrol detection canine team alerted to the vehicle. Agents conducted a thorough inspection of the vehicle and discovered anomalies in the car’s exhaust system. Subsequently, agents discovered 17 bundles of methamphetamine stuffed inside the muffler.
“Often, when our agents are conducting immigration inspections, they uncover other crimes,” said David S. Kim, Assistant Chief Patrol Agent. “On this occasion, an alert agent and a canine detection team worked together and arrested a methamphetamine smuggler.”
The narcotics had a combined weight of 13.28 pounds with an estimated street value of $42,500.
The man, the vehicle, and the narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
During this current fiscal year, the El Centro Sector of the Border Patrol has seized more than 84.03 pounds of cocaine.