SALTON CITY, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents of the Indio Station assigned to the Highway 86 checkpoint arrested a man suspected of smuggling liquid methamphetamine hidden inside one of his pickup’s gas tanks yesterday.
The arrest occurred at approximately 8:50 a.m., when Rene Elizalde, a 22-year-old man approached the Border Patrol checkpoint in a 1997 Ford F-250.
As the vehicle approached the primary inspection booth, a Border Patrol K9 team alerted to the vehicle. The primary agent referred the vehicle for a secondary inspection.
During the secondary inspection, the K9 again alerted to the driver’s side of the vehicle. Agents used a fiber-scope camera to search the vehicles two-gas tanks. In one of the gas tanks agents saw a liquid that did not look like gasoline. Agents tested the substance, which yielded positive for the characteristics of methamphetamines.
“Liquid methamphetamine is an extremely dangerous form of the narcotic and thankfully our agents were able to prevent it from advancing further into the United States,” said Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “Our communities are much safer with these drugs off our streets.”
The narcotics weighed of 75 pounds with an estimated street value of $198,750.
Elizalde, a U.S. citizen, the vehicle and the narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.