Niland, California - Thursday, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Station arrested a suspected drug smuggler after discovering more than five pounds of methamphetamine inside of an aftermarket compartment of a car battery.

The incident occurred at approximately 12:45 p.m., when Border Patrol agents encountered a 26-year-old man driving a brown Nissan Altima at the Highway 111 checkpoint.

During pre-primary inspection a Border Patrol canine alerted to the vehicle.   Agents referred the man to the secondary inspection area for further investigation.  Border Patrol agents subsequently discovered a package of methamphetamine hidden in a false compartment of the vehicle’s battery.

The methamphetamine had a combined weight of 5.5 pounds with an estimated street value of more than $50,000.

The man, 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 445 pounds of methamphetamine.