DEA finds half-ton of meth at Falfurrias checkpoint

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents and K-9 security dogs keep watch at a checkpoint station, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Falfurrias, Texas. Government agencies vary widely in how they are dealing with $85 billion in across-the-board budget cuts that went into effect last week. Federal workers could face seven days of furloughs at the Housing and Urban Development Department, but Homeland Security personnel might see twice that number. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

A man faced a federal magistrate judge Monday on accusations he attempted to smuggle liquid methamphetamine in a tractor-trailer’s diesel tank that equates to more than 1,000 pounds of the drug.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested Juan Carlos Delgadillo last Thursday at the Falfurrias Border Patrol checkpoint after a drug-sniffing dog there alerted to the 2010 Volvo tractor-trailer the man was driving, according to a criminal complaint.

During the inspection, DEA agents focused on the passenger side diesel tank of the vehicle, court documents indicate.

“Agents observed the liquid around the cap of the vehicle diesel tank turn into a solid crystal substance,” which the DEA says tested positive for methamphetamine, the complaint states.

Authorities say the liquid equates to 1,196 pounds of the drug.

The criminal complaint states that Delgadillo was read his Miranda rights and told investigators he knew about the drugs in the diesel tank and was transporting it for a fee.

Delgadillo is temporarily being held without bond pending probable cause and detention hearings scheduled for later this week, records show.