Temecula, Calif. - U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a suspected narcotics smuggler after discovering more than 26 pounds of cocaine hidden in his vehicle at the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 15 near Temecula, March 10.
The seizure took place at about 9 a.m., after a 21-year-old male Mexican citizen, driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee, was stopped at the checkpoint. Agents directed the driver to secondary inspection for further examination.
A Border Patrol K-9 team alerted agents to the presence of contraband in the vehicle. The K-9 team led agents to inspect the engine compartment of the vehicle where a hidden compartment in the firewall was found. The compartment contained nine bundles of cocaine with an estimated street value of $268,300.
The driver was arrested and turned over to agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the cocaine.
A defense-in-depth enforcement posture is maintained by the U.S. Border Patrol through interior checkpoints and coordinated enforcement operations. So far in the 2010 fiscal year, Border Patrol agents have seized more than 560 pounds of cocaine in San Diego Sector.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.