Salton City, California - El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 86 checkpoint, arrested a man suspected of smuggling methamphetamine inside his pickup’s gas tank on Friday morning.
The incident occurred at approximately 11:40 a.m., when a 66-year-old man approached the checkpoint in a 2003 Chevy Silverado. Before the driver reached the primary inspection area, a Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to the driver’s side of the vehicle.
Agents referred the man to secondary inspection for a closer inspection of his pickup.
Upon further inspection, Border Patrol agents found 74 packages stuffed inside the pickup’s gas tank. Agents tested the contents of the packages. That test indicated a positive for characteristics of methamphetamine.
The total weight of the methamphetamine was 77.22 pounds with an estimated street value of $270,270.
Gas tanks are a common hiding place drug traffickers use to smuggle their narcotics.
The man, a naturalized citizen, the vehicle and narcotics were turned-over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
In fiscal year 2018, El Centro Sector has seized more than 197.54 pounds of methamphetamine.