Southern California Border Patrol Agents Arrest Man Smuggling a Half Million Dollars Worth of Meth

A Border Patrol K-9 officer alerted agents to a vehicle trying to cross the Indio border crossing in Southern California on July 16, 2015. Agents pulled the 2013 Dodge Avenger aside and searched it intensively.

The Border Patrol agents discovered 50 pounds of meth in 34 packages hidden in the car’s rocker panels. The drugs were estimated to be worth more than $505,000 on the street. The driver—a Mexican citizen and lawful permanent resident of the US—was turned over to the DEA for further investigation along with the car and the narcotics.

This is the second major meth interception at the Indio checkpoint within the past month and a half. On June 12, a K-9 detection team alerted to the front end of a 2002 Mercury Sable. The car was subsequently found to contain more than 11 pounds of meth with a street value of $114,400.

The agents that work at the Indio Station are part of the El Centro Sector area of operations, which surveys 70 linear miles of the border with Mexico in Imperial County. Indio is one of three line-watch stations in this sector along with El Centro and Calexico, and agents there patrol the northern portion of the Imperial County. More than 1,100 uniformed agents are assigned to the three line watch stations in the El Centro Sector—an increase of 5.8 times those assigned there in 1996.

Meth smuggling is a significant problem in this area, and in fiscal year 2014, agents in the El Centro Sector seized more than 445 pounds of the drug—nearly 12% of all of the meth seized along the southwest border that year.