YUMA — Border Patrol agents assigned to the Wellton Station arrested three U.S. citizens after finding 152 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in five duffel bags in the cargo area of their vehicle at the Interstate 8 immigration checkpoint Monday night.
Agents referred a Nissan Rogue to the checkpoint’s secondary inspection area following a canine alert at approximately 10:40 p.m. In secondary, a search of the vehicle revealed five duffel bags in the rear cargo area that contained a total of 152 pounds of methamphetamine. The meth has an estimated value of over $500,000.
Agents arrested the vehicle occupants, three women from Oklahoma, and seized the narcotics and vehicle.
Last week agents assigned to the Wellton Station arrested two U.S. citizens after finding over a pound of fentanyl pills hidden under the passenger seat of the car they were driving.
On Thursday, agents sent a Chevrolet Malibu to the checkpoint’s secondary inspection area at approximately 10 a.m. following a canine alert. A search of the vehicle revealed two plastic bags full of fentanyl pills wrapped in a hospital gown and hidden under the front passenger seat. The fentanyl pills, which weighed 1.276 pounds, were valued at $18,500.
In addition to arresting the two vehicle occupants, agents also seized the narcotics and the vehicle.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin, oxycodone and morphine. Just 2 to 3 milligrams of fentanyl can kill a person. The amount of fentanyl found in the vehicle is equal to 578,783 milligrams.
Methamphetamine may be odorless to humans, but Border Patrol canines can easily detect the narcotic and are trained to do so. A dog’s sense of smell is estimated to be 10,000 to 100,000 times better than that of a human, mostly due to the large number of olfactory receptors in a dog’s nose. In addition to methamphetamine, the dogs are trained to detect concealed humans and the odors of marijuana, heroin and cocaine.