Salton City, California - 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 their vehicle’s gas tank on Wednesday.
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 noticed the individuals did not have proper immigration documents. The vehicle was referred to secondary inspection for further investigation.
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 combined weight of the packages totaled 32.60 lbs., with an estimated street value of $86,390.
Both BCC’s were canceled due to the individual’s failure to maintain status and violation of a controlled substance.
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 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.
In fiscal year 2018, El Centro Sector agents have seized more than 857.71 pounds of methamphetamine.