Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents arrest a passenger smuggling fentanyl on a shuttle van

YUMA — Wellton Station US Border Patrol agents working at the Interstate 8 immigration checkpoint Friday, September 11, arrested a United States citizen attempting to smuggle fentanyl through the checkpoint in a shuttle van, according to a press release.

At approximately 1 p.m., US Border Patrol agents referred a shuttle van to the secondary inspection area for an immigration check. While in secondary, a Border Patrol canine alerted to one of the bench seats and a backpack that was located there. Agents determined that the backpack — which contained two packages with a total of 2.015 pounds of fentanyl pills valued at approximately $29,000 — belonged to a 37-year-old US citizen.

Smuggling organizations often use public transportation, such as shuttle vans, to move drugs through the country and, more specifically, through immigration checkpoints due to the anonymity it affords. Smugglers attempt to blend in with other passengers and will deny ownership of bags in which drugs are discovered. In addition to being an inexpensive method of transportation for the smuggling organization, the smugglers do not risk having their own vehicles seized.

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