SALTON CITY â€”Â El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 86 checkpoint, arrested a man suspected of smuggling methamphetamine on Monday morning.
The incident occurred at approximately 3:40 a.m., after a 19-year-old man approached the checkpoint in a blue 2010 Ford Fusion.
Border Patrol agents referred the man to secondary inspection for further examination.
At secondary inspection, a canine team alerted to the undercarriage of the vehicle.Â Agents investigated further and discovered 30 packages concealed in the Fordâ€™s gas tank.Â The packages were examined and tested positive for the characteristics of methamphetamine.
The combined weight of the packages totaled 43.46 pounds with an estimated street value of $173,840.
The man, a United States citizen, the vehicle, and the narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
Since fiscal year 2017, which started Oct. 1, 2016, El Centro SectorÂ seized more than 317.63 pounds of methamphetamine.