SALTON SEA, Calif. – Border Patrol agents with the El Centro Sector on Tuesday announced the arrest of a man on suspicion of attempting to smuggle a loaded firearm and narcotics into the U.S.
The incident happened on Saturday, May 28, around 1:55 p.m. when a grey Acura ILX driven by a 41-year-old U.S. citizen approached the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint. During the primary inspection, the man was directed to a secondary inspection and a Border Patrol K-9 alerted agents to the driver’s side of the car.
Agents conducted a search of the vehicle and found a red backpack in the rear seat. Inside the backpack, officials say they discovered a loaded unregistered pistol and 12 small bundles wrapped in black electrical tape. Officials also recovered nearly $8,000 in cash from the glove box of the car.
Inside the bundles, agents say they found 29.96 grams of a “white crystal-like substance” that tested positive for methamphetamines, as well as .69 grams of blue pills that tested positive for fentanyl. The methamphetamines are valued at $898 dollars and the fentanyl at $17,250, according to CBP officials.
The driver, weapons, cash and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The matter remains under investigation by officials with DEA and Border Patrol.