U.S. Border Patrol Agents stopped a drug smuggling attempt near Alamogordo. Border Patrol Agents assigned to the immigration checkpoint on U.S. Highway 54 encountered three passengers in a maroon Ford Mustang approaching the primary inspection area.
Pursuant to an immigration inspection, a canine search of the car indicated the possible presence of narcotics in the vehicle. Agents then discovered plastic and aluminum foil wrapped bundles concealed in the fender wells of the vehicle.
The narcotics tested positive for methamphetamine and weighed more than 22 pounds with an estimated street value of over $715,000. The driver and two passengers, all United States citizens, were placed under arrest. The subjects and drugs were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“I can’t emphasize enough the vital role that our agents, assisted by canines, play at our checkpoints as the secondary line of defense,” stated El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “The seizure of dangerous drugs attempting to be transported into the United States is crucial to border security.”
In a separate incident, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint arrested a man suspected of smuggling narcotics in his vehicle.
While in secondary inspection, Border Patrol agents discovered 11 packages concealed behind the glovebox of the vehicle. The incident occurred at approximately 3:34 p.m., when a 31-year-old man driving a 2005 Acura Sport Utility Vehicle approached the checkpoint. A Border Patrol K-9 detection team alerted to the vehicle in the primary inspection lane. Agents directed the vehicle to enter the secondary inspection area for further investigation.
While in secondary inspection, Border Patrol agents discovered 11 packages concealed behind the glovebox of the vehicle. Agents determined that the substance inside the sealed bundles tested positive for the characteristics of fentanyl. The total weight of the narcotics discovered was approximately 24.9 pounds of fentanyl with an estimated value of $876,480.
The man, a legal permanent resident, the narcotics and vehicle were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.