SALTON CITY, Calif. â€“ El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents from the Indio Station assigned to the Highway 86 checkpoint arrested two people suspected of smuggling drugs inside a truckâ€™s spare tire on Tuesday.
The incident occurred at approximately 7:17 p.m., when the driver, a 30-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman passenger approached the Border Patrol checkpoint in a white 2012 Chevrolet Silverado. During the pre-primary inspection, a Border Patrol detection canine team alerted to the vehicle. Agents referred the vehicle to secondary for further inspection.
Agents conducted a thorough examination of the vehicle and discovered 12 packages hidden in the truckâ€™s spare tire. Nine of the packages tested positive for cocaine and the other three packages tested positive for methamphetamine.
â€œOur K-9 agents play a vital role in the safeguarding of our communities by preventing dangerous drugs from reaching our city streets,â€ said David S. Kim, Assistant Chief Patrol Agent.
The narcotics had a combined weight of 72.60 pounds of which 67.20 pounds were cocaine and 5.40 pounds were methamphetamine. The cocaine seizure had an estimated street value of $806,400 and the methamphetamine seizure had an estimated street value of $21,600.
The man, a United States citizen, the woman, a Mexican citizen, the vehicle, and the narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
In fiscal year 2017, El Centro Sector has seized more than 151.23 pounds of cocaine and 135.40 pounds of methamphetamine.