A U.S. citizen suspected of smuggling narcotics was arrested by Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint Sunday morning.
At approximately 7:40 a.m., a 26-year-old man driving a white Jeep Cherokee approached the checkpoint. According to El Centro Sector Border Patrol, agents wanted to further inspect the vehicle, so they sent it over to secondary. It was at the second inspection site, that agents found a package hidden inside an aftermarket compartment within the engine intake manifold.
The intake manifold is a component of a vehicle's engine that supplies the fuel/air mixture to the cylinders. It's usually located on the top center of the engine.
Agents determined the package contained a substance that was consistent with the characteristics of methamphetamine. The total weight of the meth was 12 pounds with an estimated value of $24,000.
The man, a United States citizen, the narcotics and vehicle were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
"This is an example of the dedicated agents in the El Centro Sector," said Acting Chief Patrol Agent Ryan J. Scudder. "Our agents are not only dedicated, but also experienced, and this seizure highlights the pride they take in safeguarding our communities from dangerous narcotics."