Respirator

Border Patrol agents at the I-19 checkpoint discovered fentanyl pills hidden inside this medical respirator.

A Nogales resident was arrested at the Interstate 19 Border Patrol checkpoint last week after agents reportedly found more than 17 pounds of fentanyl hidden in a piece of medical equipment she was transporting.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a 25-year-old U.S. citizen woman driving a Chevrolet Trailblazer pulled up to the checkpoint at around 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 17. When a drug-sniffing dog alerted to the vehicle, agents referred her to the secondary inspection area.

There, X-ray scans revealed anomalies within a medical respirator on the backseat, CBP said, and agents found multiple packages of suspected fentanyl pills concealed inside it.

The stash had an approximate street value of $188,000.

The driver was arrested and the pills and vehicle were seized. The case was taken over by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

In another bust earlier in the week at the checkpoint, agents arrested a 20-year-old U.S. citizen for possessing illegal substances.

At 5 p.m. on Sept. 14, CBP said, a driver was sent for a secondary inspection following an alert from a drug-sniffing dog. During the inspection, agents discovered marijuana, THC oil and methamphetamine in the vehicle.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety took over the case.

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