Salton City, California - El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Station arrested three people in two separate smuggling attempts at the Highway 86 checkpoint this past Saturday.
The first incident occurred at 4 p.m., when a 31-year-old male driver and his two passengers, a 34-year-old female and a 21-year-old male, arrived at the Highway 86 checkpoint in a Honda Civic coupe.
During an immigration inspection a Border Patrol agent referred the driver to secondary inspection for further questioning.
During the inspection the male passenger admitted to agents of being a Mexican citizen illegally present in the United States. Border Patrol agents also determined that the driver was member of the “Norteno” prison gang.
The man and woman, both United States citizens, were arrested on suspicion of alien smuggling and booked into the Imperial County Jail.
The Mexican national will be processed for removal to Mexico. The Border Patrol seized the vehicle.
The second incident occurred at approximately 11:30 p.m., when a 35-year-old man approached the Highway 86 checkpoint in a 1995 Chevrolet S-10 truck.
A Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to the truck and agents referred the man to secondary inspection area for further investigation.
After an extensive search, agents discovered 31 bundles of methamphetamine stuffed inside of the vehicle’s fuel tank.
The bundles had a combined weight of 39.7 pounds with an estimated value of $397,000.
The man, a United States citizen, the vehicle, and the narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
In fiscal year 2014, El Centro Sector seized more than 445 pounds of methamphetamine.
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.