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US citizen arrested crossing border back into America from Mexico in taxi with $130,000 of fentanyl

El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents seized 9.7 pounds of fentanyl with an estimated street value of $130,000. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection

(NEW YORK) — A U.S. citizen has been arrested attempting to cross back into the United States from Mexico after authorities found an estimated $130,000 of fentanyl hidden in the taxi they were riding in, according to officials.

The incident occurred at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday when a ride-share taxi driver who was carrying four passengers attempted to cross into the United States with the passengers and entered the inspection area of the U.S. Border Patrol immigration checkpoint on Highway 86 in Southern California, according to a statement released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Thursday.

“The agent in the primary inspection area referred the vehicle for further investigation,” said the statement released by CBP. “In the secondary area a K-9 team trained to detect concealed humans and narcotics asked for consent to search the vehicle from the driver and was granted permission. The K-9 alerted to the trunk area of the vehicle. The trunk was opened, and agents found several bags inside. The K-9 alerted to a backpack and a speaker that belonged to an individual who claimed them as his property.”

Authorities began to search the speaker and the backpack which resulted in the discovery of several wrapped packages consistent with wrapping commonly used to transport illegal narcotics. A sample was taken from one of the packages and subsequently tested positive for the presence of fentanyl.

The total weight of the fentanyl weighed in just under 10 pounds with an estimated street value of $130,000, according to CBP.

The U.S. citizen was arrested and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the narcotics found hidden in the backpack and speaker.

This seizure is part of Operation Apollo, according to CBP, which is a “joint regional operation comprised of federal, state, and local agencies working to combat the threat from fentanyl, and other illicit synthetic narcotics.”

Authorities did not give any details on the U.S. citizen arrested in the case and the investigation into the incident is currently ongoing.

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