Boulevard, Calif. - Early Monday morning, U.S. Border Patrol agents seized a crystal methamphetamine stash, with an estimated street value of $375,000, from a vehicle on Interstate 8 in East County.
At around 4:30 a.m., Border Patrol agents on patrol spotted a vehicle, a 1999 Ford F-150, as it traveled westbound on the interstate near Boulevard. Agents pulled behind the vehicle after it abruptly stopped on the shoulder near Canebrake Road. They approached the vehicle and questioned the male driver, who said he was having engine problems.
Upon questioning, the agents became suspicious of the driver's inconsistent answers which led them to call a Border Patrol K-9 team to the scene. An exterior search of the vehicle led to a positive alert. The agents then conducted a physical search of the vehicle and discovered 19 bundles of crystal methamphetamine stashed inside a hidden compartment located in the back of the passenger seat. The methamphetamine had a total weight of 20.8 pounds.
The man, a 21-year-old U.S. citizen, was placed under arrest. The suspected smuggler and the drugs were later turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Despite recent innovative concealment methods carried out by drug smugglers in their attempts to transport their illicit contraband, Border Patrol agents have maintained a strong enforcement posture through enhanced detection capabilities. This supports the reduction of crime in border communities and consequently improves the quality of life and economic vitality of targeted areas.