SALTON CITY, Calif. - El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint arrested a man and a woman suspected of smuggling methamphetamine on Thursday afternoon.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the incident occurred at approximately 6 p.m. after a 26-year-old man approached the checkpoint in a black Ford Focus sedan accompanied by a young woman.
During primary inspection, a Border Patrol canine team alerted to the vehicle. Agents then referred the vehicle to secondary inspection for further examination.
CBP said at secondary inspection, the canine team alerted to the cabin of the vehicle. Agents investigated further and discovered 50 packages concealed in hidden compartments in the floor of the sedan. The packages were examined and tested positive for the characteristics of methamphetamine.
The combined weight of the packages totaled 53.27 pounds, with an estimated street value of $170,464.
The man, a Legal Permanent Resident, was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the vehicle and narcotics for further investigation. The 23-year old female passenger was transported to a nearby medical facility due to having labor pains.
Since fiscal year 2017, which started Oct. 1, 2016, El Centro Sector seized more than 820 pounds of methamphetamine.