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Multiple meth smuggling attempts


December 11, 2018

SALTON CITY, Calif – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint thwarted multiple attempts by individuals trying to smuggle methamphetamine over the weekend. The first incident occurred at approximately 11:50 a.m., Saturday, December 8 in the morning, when a female passenger in an unlicensed taxi, approached the checkpoint. During an immigration inspection, agents referred the vehicle to secondary inspection for further investigation.

In secondary, a Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to the passenger side of the vehicle where agents discovered three packages strapped to the stomach area of the female passenger containing a white crystal like substance weighing 3.96 lbs.

The second incident occurred Saturday at approximately 3:50 p.m., when a female driver approached the checkpoint in a grey Nissan Altima. In primary, agents referred the vehicle to secondary inspection for further investigation.

In secondary, a Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to the vehicle and upon further inspection of the vehicle, agents discovered 17 packages containing a white crystal-like substance, wrapped in brown tape near the dashboard, weighing a total of 22.14 lbs.

The third incident occurred Sunday morning at approximately 9:58 a.m., when female U.S. citizen approached the checkpoint in a Nissan Altima. During an immigration inspection, agents referred the vehicle to secondary inspection for further investigation.

In secondary, a Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to the vehicle and upon further inspection, agents discovered several packages containing a white crystal-like substance in the vehicle’s floorboard weighing a total of 56.7 lbs.

The fourth incident occurred at approximately 7:50 p.m., Sunday evening, when another unlicensed taxi approached the checkpoint. During an immigration inspection, agents referred the vehicle and passengers to secondary inspection for further investigation.

In secondary, agents discovered one black package strapped to the stomach area of a 16-year-old male U.S. citizen. The package contained a white crystal-like substance weighing 3.27 lbs.

“Our Border Patrol agents from the Indio Station did an outstanding job of interdicting almost 90 pounds of methamphetamine over the weekend,” said Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “Drug smugglers going through our checkpoints will be caught and charged to the fullest extent of the law." All of the packages seized from all four incidents were examined and tested positive for the characteristics of methamphetamine.

The combined weight of the packages seized totaled 87.07 lbs., with an estimated value of $228,085.

The subjects and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Imperial County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area team for further investigation.

An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials welcome assistance from the community. Individuals can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. Reporting illicit activity could result in saving someone’s life.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP’s mission includes keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws. Follow us on Twitter @CBPArizona.



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