Salton City, California - El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint arrested a man suspected of smuggling methamphetamine inside his vehicle’s spare tire, early Friday morning.
The incident occurred at approximately 3 a.m., when a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), approached the checkpoint in a white 2000 Ford Ranger.
During an immigration inspection, a Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to the rear end of the truck. Agents referred the truck to secondary inspection for further investigation.
In secondary, agents discovered 26 packages concealed in the spare tire of the truck.
The packages were examined and tested positive for the characteristics of methamphetamine.
The combined weight of the packages totaled 35.64 lbs., with an estimated street value of $94,446.
“Couriering hard narcotics like methamphetamine is not consistent with the behavior our country expects of immigrants who are present legally,” said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David S. Kim. “In addition to answering for the crimes this subject is charged with, we will pursue revocation of legal immigration status when appropriate.”
The details of the subject’s arrest was referred to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to determine if revoking his privileged status is warranted.
The 29-year-old man, a Mexican citizen, was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the vehicle and narcotics for further investigation.
In fiscal year 2018, El Centro Sector agents have seized more than 893.35 pounds of methamphetamine, amounting to over $2.3 million.