Man Pleads Not Guilty to Smuggling Over 60 Pounds of Narcotics

City News Service

A 20-year-old man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to allegedly smuggling 46.7 pounds of methamphetamine and 18 pounds of fentanyl in Indio.

Joshua Lamar Chamberlain was charged with four felony counts — one for importing/selling/distributing controlled substances into the state, two for possessing controlled substances for sale and one for transporting/selling narcotic and controlled substances. He pleaded not guilty to all of them Wednesday.

A felony settlement conference was scheduled for July 11.

Chamberlain was arrested Friday afternoon by El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents who were conducting an anti-smuggling operation on Interstate 10, near the Golf Center Parkway exit in Indio, authorities said.

A Border Patrol K-9 detection team was alerted to Chamberlain’s 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe, where agents found a plastic container and two black gym bags with narcotics, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Authorities said 19 packages of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $126,630 and seven packages of fentanyl with an estimated street value of $268,297 were found in the vehicle.

Agents turned Chamberlain over to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department with the narcotics and the vehicle.

He was being held in lieu of $1 million at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.

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