9 arrested, 31.4 pounds of meth seized at border checkpoints near Arizona-California border

Rocky Baier, Arizona Republic
Published 10:23 p.m. MT June 27, 2019

26.4 pounds of meth were found in the door panels and spare tire of a Toyota Corolla at a border checkpoint near Blythe on Tuesday. In another stop, another 5 pounds of meth were found. (Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents seized 31.4 pounds of meth and arrested nine people during three different stops at border checkpoints near the Arizona-California border on Tuesday.

The arrests occurred on U.S. 95 and Highway 78 California, near Blythe,
just west of the Arizona border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.

During one stop at about 2:50 p.m, agents performed an immigration inspection on a silver Honda. Four of the five passengers were identified as undocumented immigrants from Mexico. The driver, a lawful permanent resident from Panama, and the other four passengers were arrested for immigration violations, border officials said.

Agents working the same checkpoint stopped a white Chevy Cruze with three people at about 7:05 p.m., directing the car to a secondary inspection area. When the car was inspected, border agents found 5 pounds of meth worth $15,000 wrapped around the two passengers' midsections. All three people were arrested for narcotics smuggling.

At a Blythe border checkpoint on U.S. 95
, a gray Toyota Corolla was stopped about 9:40 p.m. and directed to a secondary inspection area.

Agents found 26.4 pounds of meth in the car's spare tire and in door panels, which had a street value of $79,200. The driver, a U.S. citizen from San Luis, was arrested for narcotics smuggling, according to border officials.