Border Patrol Agents seize more than $1M in narcotics at checkpoint

SALTON CITY — El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint arrested a man suspected of smuggling fentanyl and methamphetamine valued at more than $1 million on Wednesday afternoon, April 17,  said a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The incident occurred at approximately 5:35 p.m. when a 24-year-old Mexican man who had a valid border crossing card approached the checkpoint driving a gray Nissan Versa.

Agents referred the man to secondary inspection for further examination of his documents and vehicle where they discovered 33 packages concealed in an after-market floorboard located in the front passenger and rear passenger area. The packages were examined and tested positive for the characteristics of fentanyl and methamphetamine.

There were eight packages wrapped in cellophane containing fentanyl, weighing 18.33 pounds with an estimated street value of $997,680. The remaining 25 packages were wrapped in black tape and contained methamphetamine, totaling 30.27 pounds with an estimated street value of $69,261. The combined street value of all the narcotics seized was $1,066,941.

“Stopping this narcotic trafficking event represents a significant seizure and undoubtedly softened the blow to our communities that the opioid crisis is causing,” said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David S. Kim. “Our agents deserve all the credit for the hard work and dedication they display every day to keep our communities safe.”

The subject, narcotics, and vehicle were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.

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