U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers discovered 138 pounds of liquid methamphetamine inside the gas tank of a car at the Calexico downtown port of entry Tuesday.
The drugs were valued at almost $200,000, according to CBP.
The driver of the SUV was a 25-year-old man who is a U.S. citizen. He was referred for a more in-depth investigation when CBP officers noticed he appeared nervous. They used a canine team to screen the vehicle and the detector dog alerted agents to the gas tank area.
According to CBP officers, they ran the vehicle through the ports imaging system which revealed anomalies within the gas tank.
The gas tank was removed and searched, which revealed an unusual liquid substance that began to crystallize. When officers field-tested the substance, it produced a positive indication for the properties of methamphetamine.
“This interdiction removes a sizeable amount of methamphetamine from the streets of our communities and the reach of our youth,” said CBP Calexico Area Port Director, David Salazar, in a statement. “CBP officers in Calexico constantly produce results while inspecting thousands of travelers in 100 degree weather.”
The driver was arrested and turned over to agents with Homeland Security Investigations. CBP officers seized the vehicle and liquid methamphetamine.
CBP officers at the border crossings in Southern California routinely stop illegal activity while processing millions of travelers into the United States. More information is available on the CBP Enforcement Statistics webpage.