Salton City, California - El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Station arrested a man suspected of drug smuggling at the Highway 86 checkpoint today after they discovered packages of methamphetamine hidden in his vehicle’s gas tank.

The incident occurred at approximately 7 a.m., after a 23-year-old man approached the checkpoint driving a 1999 gray Toyota Camry.

A Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to the vehicle.  Agents referred the man to secondary for a closer examination.  After an intensive search agents discovered 24 cylindrical shaped packages of methamphetamine hidden in the vehicle’s gas tank.

The methamphetamine had a combined weight of 29.16 pounds with an estimated street value of $291,600.

“This seizure is a testament to the vigilance and hard work of the men and women of the El Centro Sector Border Patrol in protecting our community and our nation,” said Acting Chief Patrol Agent Roy D. Villareal.

The man, a Lawfully Admitted Permanent Resident, the vehicle, and 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.