Salton City, California - Wednesday, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Station arrested a suspected drug smuggler after discovering more than six pounds of heroin in a suitcase.

The incident occurred at approximately 2:45 a.m., when Border Patrol agents encountered a 26-year-old woman driving a black 2007 Chrysler Sebring at the Highway 86 checkpoint.

During the Border Patrol agent’s initial questioning, he observed that the woman appeared nervous. The agent referred her to the secondary inspection area for further investigation.  Border Patrol agents subsequently discovered a package of heroin hidden in a false compartment of the woman’s suitcase.

The heroin had a combined weight of 6.5 pounds with an estimated street value of more than $78,000.

The woman, a United States citizen, the vehicle, and the narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.

Last fiscal year, El Centro Sector seized more than 2,985 ounces of heroin.