El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a mother traveling with two infants after allegedly finding 117 pounds of methamphetamine in her car. The arrest occurred at the interior immigration checkpoint on Highway 86 on June 18.
Agents assigned to the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint on Thursday afternoon observed a white Dodge Charger approaching for inspection. During an initial interview, the agents identified the driver as a female U.S. citizen. As the agent conducted the immigration interview, a Border Patrol K-9 alerted to the possible presence of drugs or human cargo in the vehicle, according to information obtained from El Centro Sector Border Patrol officials.
The agent referred the driver who was traveling with two infant children to a secondary inspection area. During the secondary inspection, agents conducted a physical search of the vehicle and found 104 packages of drugs hidden in the trunk and door panels of the Charger, officials stated.
The agents tested the drugs and determined they were positive for methamphetamine. The 104 packages weighed approximately 114 pounds. Officials estimated the street value of the meth to be $217,360.
The agents arrested the woman on charges related to drug smuggling and seized the drugs and her vehicle. All were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for investigation and referral of charges.
Officials turned the two babies over to California Child Protective Services.
Earlier that day, a Remote Video Surveillance System operator observed a man illegally entering the U.S. The operator dispatched agents to a location approximately three miles east of the Calexico West Downtown Port of Entry. The agents found the man and placed him under arrest for immigration violations, officials stated.
The agents transported the man to the Calexico Station where a biometric background investigation uncovered a criminal history in the U.S. A court in San Ysidro, California, convicted the 39-year-old Mexican national in October 2018 for “PC-Lewd or Lascivious Acts W/Child,” officials reported. The California court sentenced the man to 364 days confinement and placed him on probation for three years. Agents also found a no-bail arrest warrant from Orange County, California, for another sex offense.
The agents placed the Mexican national in federal custody pending possible prosecution for illegal re-entry after removal as a sex offender.