A U.S. Border Patrol drug-detecting dog (left photo) is shown next to a suitcase containing more than 50 pounds of methamphetamine that was seized on Saturday, Jan. 23, at the Highway 86 checkpoint near Salton City. Earlier that morning, a 20-year-old woman was found with packages of heroin and fentanyl taped to her body while attempting to pass through the checkpoint. | COURTESY PHOTOS

Border Patrol Seizes Meth, Fentanyl at Highway 86 Checkpoint

SALTON CITY — El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents seized methamphetamine, fentanyl, and heroin in two separate smuggling attempts on Saturday morning, Jan. 23, at the Highway 86 checkpoint near Salton City.

The first incident occurred at 8:58 a.m., when a commercial transport passenger van approached the checkpoint and agents directed the van aside for further immigration investigation of the passengers.

During agents’ inspection, a drug-detecting dog alerted to the van, and shortly after agents questioned one of the passengers who admitted to having two packages of narcotics taped to her body. One package tested positive for the characteristics of fentanyl and the other package tested positive for the characteristics of heroin. Agents arrested the woman, a 20-year-old legal permanent resident from Mexico, and held her for further processing. 

The total weight of the fentanyl was 2.53 pounds with an estimated value of $28,500 and the total weight of the heroin was 2.77 pounds with an estimated value of $28,750.

Agents turned over the woman and narcotics to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The transport van, driver, and remaining passengers were released with no further incident.

The second incident occurred about 10 a.m., when a commercial transport passenger bus approached the checkpoint, and agents directed the bus aside for further investigation.

During the inspection, a drug-detecting dog alerted to a black suitcase in the luggage compartment of the bus. Agents questioned the passengers, and no one claimed the property. Agents discovered 92 vacuum-sealed packages of narcotics inside of the luggage that tested positive for the characteristics of methamphetamine. Agents determined that the luggage was abandoned property and seized it for further processing.

The total weight of the methamphetamine was 51.62 pounds with an estimated value of $116,145.

Agents turned over the narcotics to the DEA.

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