U.S. Border Patrol agents seized 41 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $1.3 million during a checkpoint vehicle inspection this past Wednesday. The inspection led to the arrest of a Mexican national on charges related to drug smuggling.
Agents assigned to El Centro Station contacted a female driver of a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee at a designated immigration checkpoint. Agents referred the female, a Mexican citizen, to a secondary inspection after a K-9 alerted to the presence of an odor it has been trained to detect, according to information provided by Border Patrol officials.
During the secondary inspection, Agents discovered 41 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in the area along the wheels and in the spare tire. Smugglers wrapped the methamphetamine in 37 individual packages. Officials seized the contraband and arrested the female. Agents turned the suspected smuggler over to the custody of Drug Enforcement Administration agents, according to a CBP statement reported by local media.
The city of El Centro, California, is approximately 25 miles from the Mexican border at Mexicali and 113 miles from San Diego.
“Narcotic trafficking organizations try all types of concealment methods to import dangerous drugs into our communities,” Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez said in the statement. “Our agents’ diligence successfully thwarted this smuggling attempt, shielding our neighborhoods from this poison.”
Mexican drug cartels stepped up the production of methamphetamine. This has been reflected in the number of large seizures in Mexico within the last year as reported by Breitbart Texas. On August 16, in the municipality of Alcoyonqui, Sinaloa, members of the Mexican Navy seized 50 tons of methamphetamine. The Mexican Navy seized an additional 10 tons of methamphetamine in the state of Sinaloa. During the same month and in the tourist municipality of Ensenada, Baja California, the Mexican Army seized approximately 2,700 pounds of illicit drugs in two separate security operations. The seized drugs included a large quantity of methamphetamine. At the end of August, the Mexican Army seized four tons and a clandestine lab in Baja California Norte in Tecate, directly across the border from Jacumba Hot Springs, California.
Officials believe all three seizures, totaling approximately 130,000 pounds, belong to the Sinaloa Cartel also known as Cártel del Pacífico.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org