This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

EL CENTRO, Calif. — Border Patrol says a sector near San Diego has seen a sharp increase in drug trafficking busts in recent months, with certain substances being seized at five times the rate of last year.

The agency’s El Centro Sector, in Imperial County just east of San Diego County, “has experienced an increase of dangerous narcotics seizures within the past two months,” Border Patrol said this week.

“(The region) has seen an 85% increase in fentanyl and an over 500% increase in methamphetamine seizures. Since the beginning of the fiscal year, ELC has seized 509.12 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $1,145,520 and 29.12 pounds of fentanyl with an estimated street value of $330,225.”

The busts have primarily taken place at immigration checkpoints and along the border in the Calexico area, USBP said. “In the midst of the pandemic, Border Patrol agents continue to protect our nation from all cross-border threats including that of deadly and illicit substances,” authorities said.

The following are the total drug seizures for El Centro Sector since Fiscal Year 2021 began on Oct. 1:

  • Cocaine: 38.19 lbs.
  • Marijuana: 9.87 lbs.
  • Meth: 509.12 lbs.
  • Heroin: 114.4 oz.
  • Fentanyl: 29.12 lbs.