NILAND, Calif. El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents from the Indio Station assigned to the Highway 86 checkpoint arrested two women suspected of drug smuggling on separate events Saturday afternoon.
The first incident occurred at approximately 12:30 p.m., when a black 2004 Ford Fusion approached the checkpoint on Highway 86 driven by a 33-year-old woman. Agents referred the vehicle to secondary for further examination.
At secondary inspection, a Border Patrol detection canine team alerted to the vehicle. After an intensive search, agents discovered 35 packages of narcotics hidden inside the front and rear seats of the sedan.
The content of the concealed packages tested positive for methamphetamine and had a combined weight of 37.53 pounds with an estimated street value of $120,096.
The woman, a Mexican citizen, vehicle and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
The second incident occurred approximately one hour later, when a 58-year-old woman approached the checkpoint at Highway 86 driving a blue 2002 Ford Windstar. A Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to the vehicle during primary inspection.
Agents referred the woman to the secondary inspection area for a closer examination. After an intensive search, agents discovered five packages inside the rear seat of the vehicle. Two of the packages tested positive for the characteristics of methamphetamine while the other three packages were determined to contain heroin.
The methamphetamine had a total weight of 7.24 pounds with an estimated street value of $23,168. The heroin weighed 15.061 pounds for a street value of $165,671.
The woman, a Lawfully Admitted Permanent Resident, vehicle, and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
“Drug smuggling organizations are determined and resourceful, however, our agents and K-9 units are steadfast in protecting our community from these dangerous drugs,” said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David S. Kim.