A Mexican citizen was arrested Monday morning after Border Patrol agents reported finding 154 pounds of meth in a vehicle during a traffic stop in the Coachella Valley.
The incident happened at around 5:00 a.m. on Interstate 10 near Dillon Road.
According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, Border Patrol agents were observing traffic in the area in a fully marked Border Patrol vehicles when a beige Sedan passed their location. Agents followed and initiated a vehicle stop.
A U.S. Border Patrol K-9 Unit trained to detect concealed persons and narcotics was on the scene and requested consent to search the vehicle. The driver did not consent, and the K-9 unit performed an exterior sniff of the vehicle.
The K-9 alerted to the interior of the vehicle and a subsequent search resulted in the discovery of five duffel bags with multiple packages wrapped in cellophane, characteristic of the wrapping used to transport narcotics.
A sample was taken from the wrapped packages and was positive for the presence of methamphetamine.
The total weight of the methamphetamine was 154 pounds with an estimated street value of $278,000.
The driver, a Mexican citizen with a border crossing card, was arrested and his entry benefits were revoked.
The narcotics along with the vehicle were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Border Patrol agents were observing traffic as part of Operation Apollo, a joint regional operation comprised of federal, state, and local agencies working to combat the threat from fentanyl, and other illicit synthetic narcotics. More information about Operation Apollo can be found here.