Border Patrol stops two smuggling attempts

Agents discovered packages of methamphetamine stuffed inside seat backrests. Photo by: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

SALTON CITY El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint arrested one individual suspected of smuggling methamphetamine. According to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, agents also arrested two more people attempting to smuggle suspected illegal aliens on Thursday, February 8.

The first incident occurred at approximately 1 p.m. when a 33-year-old man driving a light blue Hyundai approached the checkpoint. A Border Patrol canine detection team alerted agents who sent the vehicle to secondary inspection. Agents then discovered several packages of suspected narcotics hidden in the interior upholstery of the seat backrests in the vehicle. Agents determined that the substance was consistent with the characteristics of methamphetamine.

The total weight of the methamphetamine discovered was 40.6 pounds, with an estimated value of over $107,500.

The man, a Mexican citizen, his vehicle, and contraband were turned over to the DEA.

The second incident occurred at approximately 10:46 p.m., when a 40-year-old man driving a white tractor-trailer, accompanied by a 37-year-old woman, approached the checkpoint. A Border Patrol canine detection team alerted agents who then sent the vehicle for further investigation.

After a search of the vehicle, agents discovered three suspected illegal aliens hiding in the trailer. The men, 38-year-old and 28-year-old Mexican citizens and a 48-year-old Guatemala citizen, were determined to be in the United States illegally.

The driver, passenger, and the three men were placed under arrest and were transported to the Calexico Border Patrol Station for further processing.

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