El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents arrested two United States citizens and one legal permanent resident accused of attempting to smuggle black tar heroin through an immigration checkpoint on August 26.
The incident occurred at about 12 p.m., when a dark gray 2004 Acura TLX approached the Highway 86 checkpoint. The agent in primary inspection referred the vehicle to the secondary inspection area for further investigation.
During secondary inspection, a Border Patrol K-9 detection team alerted to the trunk of the vehicle and discovered two bundles wrapped in black tape concealed inside a speaker box. The contents inside the bundles tested positive for black tar heroin.
The driver, a 38-year-old male legal permanent resident, passengers a 31-year-old female, and a 30-year-old male both United States citizen were caught with 4.8 pounds of black tar heroin, with an estimated value of $58,779.
The individuals, vehicle, and narcotics were later turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, black tar heroin comes in the form of a dark, sticky substance, as its name suggests, and distinguishing between the powder and black tar forms of heroin is therefore easy. People who intravenously inject black tar heroin are thought to be at higher risk of venous sclerosis than those injecting powder heroin.
Black tar heroin is primarily produced in Mexico, according to the New York Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. Some South American and Asian countries have also been known to export the drug. American Addiction Centers says that due to the large Mexican supply, black tar heroin is prevalent in the western portion of the United States, and cities like Los Angeles see a lot of black tar heroin use.