U.S. Citizen Arrested in An Attempt to Smuggle Meth in Spare Tire

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INDIO, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a United States citizen attempting to smuggle 35 pounds of methamphetamine Thursday night. 

At approximately 9:10 p.m., agents conducted a vehicle stop on a 2018 Jeep Renegade on Interstate 10, half a mile east of the Golf Center Parkway exit. A Border Patrol K-9 detection team was dispatched to assist in the stop and alerted to the rear of the vehicle. 

During an inspection of the trunk area, agents identified a spare tire that was not the original and unusually larger than a standard spare tire for that vehicle. Further inspection of the tire revealed a single clear, large vacuum sealed bag containing a white crystallized substance concealed inside, a type of concealment method consistent with narcotic smuggling. 

The contents of the bag contained a white crystal-like substance that tested positive for methamphetamine. The 26-year-old female driver in possession of 35 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $122,500 was placed under arrest.

U.S. Border Patrol will process the individual accordingly and seize the vehicle per El Centro Sector guidelines.

The narcotics were turned over to the Coachella Valley Narcotics Task Force.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the comprehensive management, control, and protection of our nation’s borders, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection at and between official ports of entry.