A Border Patrol K-9 team near a California interior immigration checkpoint discovered roughly 60 pounds of cocaine during a smuggling attempt. Officials estimate the cocaine to be worth approximately $1 million.
Agents patrolling near the Highway 86 Border Patrol interior checkpoint on June 14 conducted a traffic stop on a silver Buick Encore SUV, according to information provided by El Centro Sector officials. The agents requested assistance from a K-9 team.
The K-9 alerted to the rear area of the SUV, officials reported. A physical search uncovered a non-factory compartment in the undercarriage. The agents opened the compartment and found 25 packages filled with a white powdery substance.
The agents unwrapped the packages to test the contents. The powdery substance tested positive for the characteristics of cocaine, officials stated. The 25 packages weighed 59.73 pounds. Officials estimate the value to be worth $948,257.
The agents arrested the woman and turned her, the vehicle, and the drugs over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation. Officials did not disclose the age or nationality of the suspected smuggler.
So far this fiscal year, El Centro Sector agents seized 148.6 pounds of cocaine through the end of May. This compares to 56.6 pounds the previous year — an increase of nearly 163 percent. Including cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl, El Centro agents seized 2,269 pounds of drugs with four months remaining in the reporting year.