SALTON CITY – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 86 checkpoint, arrested a man suspected of smuggling cocaine on Monday morning.
The incident occurred at approximately 5:04 a.m., after a 39-year-old man approached the checkpoint in a gray 2007 Ford Taurus.
During primary inspection, a Border Patrol detection canine alerted to the vehicle. Agents referred the man to the secondary inspection area for a closer examination.
After a more thorough inspection of the vehicle, agents discovered hidden compartments in both bumpers of the vehicle. The compartments contained 24 packages wrapped in cellophane which contained cocaine.
The cocaine weighed 60.97 pounds with an estimated street value of $731,640.
“This seizure highlights the important role played by our K-9 handlers and their partners in keeping our communities free from dangerous drugs,” said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David S. Kim.
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 Sector seized more than 264.83 pounds of cocaine.