NILAND – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 111 checkpoint, arrested a man suspected of smuggling methamphetamine hidden inside an engine’s firewall compartment on Monday morning.
The incident occurred at approximately 10:27 a.m., after a 54-year-old man approached the checkpoint in a green 2010 Jeep Compass.
During primary inspection, a Border Patrol detection canine team alerted to the vehicle. Agents referred the man to secondary inspection for a closer examination.
After further inspection of the vehicle, agents discovered 45 packages hidden in the vehicle’s engine firewall compartment. The packages were examined and tested positive for the characteristics of methamphetamine.
“Communities all over the nation are reeling from the destruction that methamphetamines leave in its wake,” said David S. Kim, Assistant Chief Patrol Agent. “This seizure illustrates how Border Patrol agents protect those in our communities from all threats to safety and security encountered.”
The combined weight of the packages totaled 42.62 pounds with an estimated street value of $170,468.
The man, a Permanent Legal Resident, the vehicle, and the narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation. `