A Mexican drug smuggler tried bringing almost $4 million worth of liquid meth across one of the busiest ports of entry in the country Friday, according to Customs and Border Protection.
The unidentified 37-year-old man from Sonora, Mexico, drove across the Paso del Norte in downtown El Paso, Texas, at around one in the afternoon. The smuggler drove through Juarez and onto the international bridge, hoping to bring the 164.5 pounds of liquid meth into the United States undetected.
As the smuggler was waiting in line to cross the border, agents brought in drug-sniffing dog “Joep” to search cars. The K9 alerted agents to the smell of narcotics near his gas tank.
After inspecting, agents found six five-gallon buckets filled with the drug.
“Smugglers spent considerable time and effort to conceal this liquid-meth load,” said Beverly Good, CBP El Paso Port Director. “This seizure proves again that smugglers will use any available space in a vehicle to hide their contraband.”
False compartments are a common method used to hide drugs, according to CBP. In addition to gas tanks, smugglers also try to use false compartments in the engine compartments and wheel wells. CBP agents use dogs, hand searches and x-ray machines to detect drugs hidden in those false compartments.
The man was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.