US CBP agents thwart suspected attempt to smuggle 93 pounds of fentanyl

Border Patrol agents assigned to the U.S. Border Patrol’s El Centro Sector arrested a woman accused of smuggling approximately 93 pounds of fentanyl pills Tuesday afternoon.

On May 14, at 10:50 a.m., Border Patrol agents operating in fully marked Border Patrol vehicles observed a suspicious blue sedan on Interstate 10. Agents followed the sedan westbound and conducted a vehicle stop near the westbound off-ramp to Golf Center Parkway. A female driver and her teenage son were the sole occupants of the vehicle. A canine detection team trained to detect concealed persons and narcotics arrived on scene and conducted an open-air sniff of the sedan’s exterior. An initial search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of a single blue pill. The pill possessed characteristics similar to those of illicit fentanyl pills. Agents proceeded to transport the vehicle to a nearby Border Patrol station for further inspection.

At the station, agents observed suspicious tool markings on the bolts holding the vehicle’s seats in place. The seats were removed, and several large bags were discovered in a non-factory compartment underneath. The bags contained tens of thousands of blue pills like the pill discovered earlier. A sample of the pills tested positive for the presence of fentanyl. The total weight of the fentanyl pills was 93.3 pounds.

“Indio Station Border Patrol agents assigned to the Anti-Smuggling Unit just did what the Border Patrol has done for a century. They protected America from bad things and bad people; in this case a suspected smuggler who endangered a juvenile in a quest to spread deadly drugs into our communities,” said El Centro Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino. “We look forward to teaming up with both the excellent prosecutors at the US Attorney’s Office, Central District of California and the equally adept Drug Enforcement Administration, Los Angeles Field Office to provide meaningful consequences to this suspected smuggler,” added Bovino.

The driver, a U.S. citizen, was arrested and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation along with the vehicle and narcotics. The driver’s teenage son was released to an appropriate party.