Salton City, California - El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint arrested a woman suspected of smuggling methamphetamine inside her vehicle’s gas tank on Saturday evening.

The incident occurred at approximately 9 p.m. after a 45-year-old woman, along with her minor son, approached the checkpoint in a 2005 burgundy Hyundai Sonata.

During primary inspection, a Border Patrol canine team alerted to the vehicle.  Agents then referred the vehicle to secondary inspection for further examination.

At secondary inspection, the canine team alerted to the gas cap of the vehicle.  Agents investigated further and discovered several sealed packages concealed in gas tank of the vehicle.  The packages were examined and tested positive for the characteristics of methamphetamine. 

The combined weight of the packages totaled 26.97 lbs., with an estimated street value of $71,470.

The woman, a U.S. citizen, was turned over by agents to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the vehicle and narcotics for further investigation.

The minor child was turned over to Imperial County Social Services.

“This displays the level the smuggling organizations will go in order to further their criminal enterprise,” said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David S. Kim.  “Thanks to our agents this child was taken out of a potentially dangerous situation.”

In fiscal year 2018, El Centro Sector agents have seized more than 825.11 pounds of methamphetamine.