SALTON CITY – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 86 checkpoint arrested a man and a woman on suspicion of smuggling narcotics in two separate events that occurred within less than an hour of each other, according to a news release from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The first incident occurred Thursday, Oct.19 at approximately 9:15 a.m. when a 21-year-old woman traveled to the checkpoint on Highway 86 in a Crusero/International California bus. Agents subsequently referred the bus to secondary for further examination.
At secondary inspection, a Border Patrol detection canine team reportedly alerted to the top of the luggage compartment and agents removed all occupants from the bus. The canine then alerted to a specific seat. When agents interviewed the owner of the seat, they reportedly discovered narcotics strapped to a woman’s abdomen. The substance of the narcotics tested positive for heroin, the release said.
The total weight of the heroin was reported at 2.52 pounds and had an estimated street value of $27,720.
The woman, a United States citizen, and the narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
The second incident occurred approximately 30 minutes later at 9:45 a.m. when a 21-year-old man approached the same checkpoint in a red, 2005 Mini Cooper. Agents sent the man to secondary inspection for a closer examination of his vehicle.
At secondary inspection, a Border Patrol detection canine team alerted to the vehicle’s back seat. Agents searched the area and discovered 17 bundles in the gas tank of the vehicle. The bundles tested positive for methamphetamine, said the release.
The total weight of the methamphetamine was reported at 19.18 pounds with an estimated street value of $67,130.
The man, a United States citizen, vehicle, and narcotics were also turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
“These seizures highlight the important role played by our K-9 handlers and their partners in keeping our communities free from dangerous drugs and the violence associated with their sales and distribution,” said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David S. Kim in the news release.
Through Aug. 31 of fiscal year 2017, the El Centro Sector has seized more than 1,880 pounds of methamphetamine and 140 pounds of heroin.