EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — A 22-year-old U.S. citizen is in federal custody after allegedly trying to smuggle nearly 90 pounds of meth from Mexico.

Drugs hidden in a vehicle that tried to cross the Bridge of the Americas on Tuesday. (CBP photo)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stopped the load from coming into the country when the man showed up in a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Bridge of the Americas port of entry in El Paso.

The CBP officer who interviewed the driver and inspected the vehicle found anomalies and referred both to the secondary inspection area at the port of entry, the agency said.

A drug-sniffing dog alerted other officers to the presence of narcotics in the car, and an X-ray examination of the vehicle revealed anomalies in the vehicle’s quarter panels and rear bumper, the agency said.

CBP officers extracted 89.9 pounds of methamphetamine from various parts of the vehicle. The drugs have an estimated street value of $325,000.

More drugs found inside the vehicle (CBP photo)

According to various U.S. government and private security analysts, the Mexican drug cartels have ramped up production and distribution of meth and fentanyl, which they export primarily to the United States.

As for the El Paso bust, “this is a great example of CBP Officers using their experience, CBP drug-sniffing dogs, and an x-ray system to prevent a large amount of drugs from entering our community,” said CBP El Paso Port Director Beverly Good.

The 22-year-old man was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to face charges for the failed alleged smuggling attempt.

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