A 21-year-old man was arrested in Imperial County on suspicion of attempting to smuggle fentanyl over the border into the United States.
A man driving a blue Volkswagen Jetta arrived at the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint around 6:15 PM on Friday, March 13. Officials say he became visibly nervous during a brief immigration interview, prompting them to send his vehicle to secondary inspection.
During said inspection, a Border Patrol canine alerted to the vehicle, indicating the presence of possible narcotics.
Inspectors ended up finding seven packages in a hidden compartment within the center console, the contents of which appeared consistent with the properties of fentanyl.
Fentanyl is an opioid commonly used in pain medication. On its own, it can be deadly even in trace amounts.
The total weight of the packages clocked in at 17.4 pounds, with an estimated street value of $162,000.
The individual, whose name has not been made public, and the fentanyl were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.