Loaded Gun, Drugs Seized at California Checkpoint near Border

A Border Patrol K-9 discovers nearly 39 pounds of cocaine at an immigration checkpoint in California. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/El Centro Sector)
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/El Centro Sector

El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to an immigration checkpoint seized nearly 38 pounds of cocaine during an inspection. In a second incident at the same checkpoint, agents arrested an armed suspect found to be transporting cocaine, fentanyl, and methamphetamine.

Agents assigned to the Highway 86 interior immigration checkpoint in Southern California observed a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse approaching on Saturday for inspection. Following an initial immigration interview, an agent referred the driver, a 47-year-old male U.S. citizen, to the secondary inspection area for further investigation.

During the secondary inspection, a Border Patrol K-9 alerted to an odor it is trained to detect coming from the rear passenger seat area. The agents conducted a physical inspection of the rear seat area and found a hidden compartment in the rear floorboard of the vehicle.

Agents opened the hidden compartment and discovered 14 packages containing a white powdery substance. The agents tested the powdery substance which resulted in a positive indication for cocaine, officials reported.

The agents weighed the packages and cataloged nearly 39 pounds of the illicit drug. Officials reported the drugs have an estimated street value of more than $600,000.

Agents place the driver under arrest and seized the vehicle and cocaine. They later turned the suspected drug smuggler over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation and referral of federal charges.

Later that evening, agents assigned to the same checkpoint observed a white 2016 Ford F-150 pickup truck approaching for inspection. During a secondary inspection, a K-9 alerted to the possible presence of drugs at the rear passenger door.

A search of the vehicle uncovered a loaded 9 mm pistol under the driver’s seat. They also found four large car batteries. The batteries contained hidden compartments that contained various types of drugs, officials stated.

Tests identified the drugs as blue fentanyl pills, crystal methamphetamine, and cocaine.

The agents arrested the 22-year-old male U.S. citizen and seized 10.92 pounds of cocaine ($173,250), 19.6 pounds of methamphetamine ($59,913), and 2.46 pounds of fentanyl ($27,500).

The agents turned the suspected drug smuggler, the firearm, and the drugs over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Officials also seized the Ford truck.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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