Calexico, California - El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents arrested three suspected drug smugglers and seized more than 100 pounds of marijuana near Highway 98 and Anderholt Road early this morning after a driver failed to yield.
The incident occurred at approximately 3:15 a.m., when Border Patrol agents, operating a Remote Video Surveillance System, (RVSS) observed two men carrying large backpacks climb over the International Boundary Fence near the Alamitos Canal. The men walked towards a parked 1994 Pontiac Sunbird on Highway 98. Agents observed the men place the backpacks in the trunk of the vehicle. The men entered the vehicle and drove off.
Agents responded and attempted to execute a vehicle stop. A man driving the vehicle failed to yield and continued to travel at a high rate of speed. Agents observed smoke coming out of the engine and the vehicle abruptly reduced speed. Despite the malfunction the driver continued to fail to yield.
As the vehicle slowed, Border Patrol agents observed a man open the front passenger door and jump out. A Border Patrol agent apprehended the man as he attempted to run back into Mexico.
The driver of the Pontiac finally came to a stop. Agents cautiously approached the vehicle and arrested two men and retrieved two backpacks from the trunk. A K-9 team produced a positive alert to the backpacks. Agents searched the backpacks and found three large packages of marijuana inside.
The driver, a 24-year-old United States citizen, and his passengers, a 19-year-old and a 45-year-old, both Mexican citizens, were taken into custody by the Border Patrol.
The marijuana and had a total weight of 107.25 pounds with an estimated street value of more than $64,350.
The men, vehicle and marijuana were later turned over to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA).
Last fiscal year El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents seized 5,713 pounds of marijuana.
The El Centro Sector’s Community Awareness Campaign is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness on the indicators of crime and other threats. We encourage public and private sector employees to remain vigilant and play a key role in keeping our country safe. Please report any suspicious activity to the Border Community Threat Hotline at 1-800-901-2003.