Meth & human smuggling attempts thwarted on Saturday

Patrick Edgell, Digital Content Director
POSTED: 01:09 PM PST Nov 16, 2015
UPDATED: 01:15 PM PST Nov 16, 2015

El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Station arrested three people in two separate smuggling attempts at the Highway 86 checkpoint on Saturday.

The first incident occurred at 4 p.m. when a 31-year-old U.S citizen was stopped with two passengers in his car; a 34-year-old woman, also a U.S. citizen, and a 21-year-old Mexican citizen who was illegally in the United States.

Agents said the driver admitted to being a member of the 'Norteno' prison gang.

The man and woman from the U.S. were arrested on suspicion of alien smuggling and were booked into the Imperial County Jail. The Mexican national will be processed for removal to Mexico. The Border Patrol seized the vehicle, according to the release.

Agents said the second incident happened at about 11:30 p.m. when a 35-year-old man was stopped at the checkpoint and a Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to his truck.

Agents found 31 bundles of methamphetamine stuffed inside the vehicle's fuel tank. The bundles had a combined weight of 39.7 pounds with an estimated value of $397,000.

The man is a U.S. citizen, he was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Agency for further investigation.