Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents arrested two suspected drug smugglers and seized 20 pounds of methamphetamine and 49 pounds of marijuana in two seperate drug smuggling attempts on Sunday.
In the first incident, agent Robert Lowry, a spokesman for the Yuma Communications Division, said agents assigned to the Blythe Station checkpoint on Highway 95 referred a gold Chevrolet Malibu to secondary inspection after a canine team alerted to the exterior of the vehicle.
“As agents inspected the vehicle in secondary inspection, they noticed that the exhaust assembly had been tampered with and extensively altered,” Lowry said.
When agents searched the exhaust assembly they located a non-factory compartment containing 18 wrapped packages bound with electrical tape, which were later identified as methamphetamine. The driver, a United States citizen, was placed under arrest.
The driver and the methamphetamine, which had an estimated street value of $310,000, were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration, while the vehicle was seized by the Border Patrol.
The second incident occurred east of Wellton, Lowry said, when an agent observed an individual walking south of Dateland near Interstate 8 on Sunday.
The agent followed footprints and located the individual carrying a large bundle of marijuana in a makeshift backpack. The individual, a citizen of Mexico, admitted to being illegally present in the United States.
Lowry said the individual and marijuana, which was valued at $24,000, were taken into custody and turned over to the Yuma County Sherriff’s Office Narcotics Task Force.
U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio station arrested a man last week after he attempted to smuggle cocaine and methamphetamine.
On Friday, at approximately 5:45 a.m., agents from the El Centro sector who were working primary inspection at the Highway 86 Checkpoint directed a white Dodge Ram Pickup to secondary inspection. At secondary, a Canine Team alerted to the vehicle while performing a cursory search.
The agents performed a thorough search of the vehicle which yielded over 17 pounds of cocaine and more than 4 pounds of methamphetamine combining for a worth of over $700,000. The vehicle, drugs and driver were turned over to Drug Enforcement Administration