SALTON CITY – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint arrested a man and a female juvenile passenger suspected of smuggling methamphetamine inside a vehicle’s gas tank on Wednesday, according to a recently released press report.

More than 32 lbs. of meth was stuffed inside a gas tank; two arrested.

More than 32 lbs. of meth was discovered inside a gas tank; two arrested.

According to the release, the incident occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m. when the two B1/B2 Visa / Border Crossing Card (BCC) holders, approached the checkpoint.

During primary inspection, a Border Patrol agent reportedly noticed the individuals did not have proper immigration documents. The vehicle was referred to secondary inspection for further investigation, the report said.

In secondary, a Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to the vehicle which led to the discovery of 30 packages hidden in the gas tank. The packages were examined and tested positive for the characteristics of methamphetamine, the release said. 

The report said the combined weight of the packages totaled 32.60 lbs., with an estimated street value of $86,390.

Both BCCs were canceled due to the individual’s failure to maintain status and violation of a controlled substance, per the report.

The Border Patrol said the 22-year-old man and 16-year-old female, both Mexican citizens, were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the vehicle and the narcotics for further investigation.

This incident highlights the continued trend of smuggling narcotics in vehicle gas tanks. This trend has been found in other sectors and ports of entries, according to officials.

In fiscal year 2018, the El Centro Sector reported agents seized more than 857.71 pounds of methamphetamine.

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