No One-Way Ticket Home for Narcotics Smuggler Busted in Salton City
SALTON CITY- A suspected narcotics smuggler was caught with 34 pounds of methamphetamine and arrested at the Highway 86 checkpoint on Wednesday.
On January 15 at approximately 5:30 a.m., Border patrol agents stopped a gray 1994 Jeep Cherokee at the checkpoint in Salton City. The vehicle was inspected by a Border Patrol Canine Detection Team and the dogs alerted to the scent of drugs. At this time the vehicle was referred to a secondary inspection.
A thorough inspection of the vehicle revealed a tremendous amount of drugs. According to court documents, agents found 32 packages containing a total of about 34 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $670,080. U.S. citizen David Gonzalez, 44 of Mexicali, was identified as the driver.
Gonzalez was read his rights and immediately after was said to have confessed to the crime. He explained that he had been paid $3,000 to drive the vehicle across the border. He understood that he was transporting narcotics and was instructed to bring them from Mexicali to a Greyhound station in Indio. Once at the station, Gonzalez was instructed to abandon the vehicle, leaving the keys in the vehicle’s gas cap compartment so that it could be retrieved. At this time, he was supposed to take a bus and return to Mexico, according to the court complaint.
Gonzalez was taken into custody and, along with the vehicle and narcotics, was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.