Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents continue to disrupt drug and human smuggling efforts at immigration checkpoints on highways leading away from the Mexican border.
On Monday, agents assigned to the Blythe and Wellington Stations scuttled the drug and human smuggling plans of two separate efforts. The agents arrested two human smugglers, a drug runner, and seized more than a $500,000 in opioids and narcotics.
Blythe Station agents observed a 2002 Mercury Milan approaching for an inspection. A Border Patrol K-9 agent alerted to the possible presence of drugs or human cargo, according to Yuma Sector Border Patrol officials. The agents referred the driver of the Milan to a secondary inspection station.
During a search of the vehicle, agents found 96 packages they suspected were filled with drugs. Testing revealed the packages contained more than 120 pounds of methamphetamine and heroin, officials stated. Border Patrol officials estimated the value of the seized drugs to be in excess of $525,000. Officials identified the driver/alleged smuggler as a 38-year-old Mexican national who resides in the U.S. with green card status.
A few hours later, Welton Station agents observed a 2016 Honda Accord approaching a checkpoint. The agents referred the driver to a secondary inspection station following an initial interview. Further questioning revealed the three rear-seat passengers were Mexican nationals with no legal status in the U.S. The agents arrested the Mexican nationals for immigration violations.
Agents learned the 35-year-old driver and the 36-year-old front-seat passenger are both U.S. citizens from Sacramento and San Bernadino, California, respectively. The agents placed both under arrest for human smuggling and alien harboring. A search of the vehicle also revealed about 14.5 grams of methamphetamine inside the car. Officials seized the car and the drugs.