A man suspected of smuggling 75 pounds of liquid methamphetamine worth nearly $200,000 was arrested at a Highway 86 checkpoint, triggering an investigation by the federal drug agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials reported Tuesday.
Renee Elizade, 22, was taken into custody about 8:50 a.m. Monday at the Indio checkpoint of the El Centro Sector, which is responsible for 70 miles of international border and is mostly desert terrain, according to CBP officials. He was behind the wheel of a 1997 Ford F-250.
As the pickup truck approached the primary inspection booth, “a Border Patrol K9 team alerted (on) the vehicle,” which then went through a secondary inspection, according to a CBP statement. Agents used a fiber-scope camera to search the gas tank after the K9 team “again alerted to the driver’s side of the vehicle.”
The fiber-scope revealed that the truck had two gas tanks, one of which was not filled with gasoline, according to CBP, which reported that 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 Chavez. “Our communities are much safer with these drugs off our streets.”
It is unclear where Elizalde had been driving from or his intended destination. According to Customs and Border Patrol, the El Centro Station stretches to the Mexican border from the Jacumba Mountains near San Diego to the Imperial Sand Dunes in El Centro.
Elizalde, the Ford F-250 and the 75 pounds of liquid meth were all turned over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: