Two teens were caught allegedly attempting to smuggle $1.1 million worth of fentanyl across state lines in Riverside County.
The suspects were only identified as an 18-year-old Mexican citizen and an 18-year-old U.S. citizen by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Border Patrol Agents first spotted the suspects driving at high speeds on the 10 Freeway in Indio. Authorities followed the suspects’ SUV for around 12 miles, witnessing the driver swerve in and out of lanes trying to lose the agents.
After pulling the suspects over near the Rice Road exit in Desert Center, authorities questioned both the driver and passenger. They claimed they were on their way to visit family in Arizona. However, officials said the suspects provided conflicting stories about their travel when questioned separately.
While searching their car, agents spotted two plastic gas cans and a spare tire that did not fit the vehicle. After a K-9 unit was requested, the dog alerted officials to the car’s backseat.
Noticing abnormalities on the car’s floorboard, agents opened the gas tank’s sending unit and discovered many plastic-wrapped packages floating inside.
A total of 60 packages were removed from the gas tank, authorities said. One of the packages was opened and was found filled with blue pills. The pills tested positive for fentanyl, officials confirmed.
The total weight of the fentanyl pills was 99.5 pounds with an estimated street value of $1,128,500.
Both teen suspects were arrested and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration as the investigation continues.