Clad in a woman’s spandex body suit, a jittery 16-year-old boy was detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents in Southern California Wednesday for allegedly attempting to smuggle nearly four pounds of heroin across a checkpoint.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said the teenager – whose nervous demeanor caught the eye of Border Patrol agents – was attempting to cross the Highway 86 Checkpoint with the drugs strapped to his body when he was caught red-handed.
Officials said the young man was a passenger on a commercial bus that arrived at the checkpoint. The bus was referred to an immigration check area during a secondary inspection and there, agents noticed the teen, who appeared nervous.
Agents patted him down and soon discovered four packages of heroin wrapped around the teen’s abdomen, held in place by a woman’s spandex body suit he wore underneath his clothing, officials said.
According to the CBP, the heroin packages weighed a combined total of 3.85 pounds and had an estimated street value of $46,200.
The teenager, a United States citizen, and the drugs were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation, officials said. The minor’s name was not released, but CBP officials did release images of the bust Wednesday night – specifically of the spandex suit in which the teen allegedly stashed the drugs.
During fiscal year 2014, the El Centro Sector working that area of Southern California seized more than 186 pounds of heroin from smugglers, the CBP said.
“The agents of the El Centro Sector Border Patrol continue to safeguard our nation and its citizens by keeping dangerous drugs such as these from reaching our streets,” Acting Chief Patrol Agent Roy Villareal said in a news release.
The CBP said the public should report any suspicious activity at checkpoints and border crossings to the Border Community Threat Hotline at (800) 901-2003.