SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.—U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested two men early this morning at the San Clemente checkpoint who had methamphetamine concealed inside their car.
The 33-year-old Mexican national driver and his 22-year-old male passenger arrived at the checkpoint at approximately 2 a.m. Agents referred them for a secondary inspection and a routine K-9 sniff of the 2008 Chrysler Sebring resulted in an alert.
Additionally, the immigration inspection revealed that the Mexican national passenger held a valid Visa, but did not possess an I-94 permit, which would allow the man to travel a distance greater than 25 miles from the U.S./Mexico international border. Due to the immigration violation and the K-9 alert, agents detained the men.
A search of the Chrysler revealed 19 vacuum-sealed packages of meth inside the gas tank and an additional 20 packages inside the vehicle’s rocker panels.
The methamphetamine weighed approximately 78.04 pounds and has an estimated street value of $780,400.
Agents arrested the two men for the possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. In addition, the passenger faces charges for his immigration violation. The two men and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
“Drug smugglers are unyielding in their attempts to bring illicit drugs into our country for sale within our communities. This seizure demonstrates the vigilance of our agents and the effectiveness of our defense-in-depth strategy at Border Patrol checkpoints,” said David BeMiller, Patrol Agent in Charge of the San Clemente checkpoint.
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.