Salton City, California - El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Station arrested a couple suspected of drug smuggling at the Highway 86 checkpoint after they discovered packages of methamphetamine and cocaine hidden in their vehicle’s fuel tank Thursday morning.

The incident occurred at approximately 7 a.m., after a 33-year-old woman driver and her 24-year-old male passenger approached the checkpoint in a Mercedes Benz.

A Border Patrol detection canine alerted to the vehicle.  Agents referred the woman to the secondary inspection area for a closer examination. 

After an intensive search, agents discovered 45 vacuum sealed bundles of methamphetamine and one bundle of cocaine hidden inside the vehicle’s fuel tank. The methamphetamine had a combined weight of 52.2 pounds with an estimated street value of $522,000.  The cocaine weighed 11.2 ounces and had an estimated street value of $14,560.

The man and woman, both United States citizen, 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 and 148 pounds of cocaine.