San Clemente, Calif. - On Monday, U.S. Border Patrol agents working the I-5 checkpoint arrested two suspected drug smugglers after the men admitted they had swallowed packets of heroin. This was later confirmed through X-rays taken of their stomachs at a local hospital.
At about 1:25 p.m., agents at the Border Patrol checkpoint stopped a taxi with three occupants. The driver and his two back seat passengers were questioned. The passengers, both male U.S. citizens, a 21-year-old and a 19-year-old, provided inconsistent stories to the agents. The agents directed the driver to a secondary inspection area for further investigation. During questioning, the men revealed to the agents that they had ingested numerous wrapped packets of heroin. One suspect admitted to swallowing approximately 50 packets, the other admitted to swallowing 17 packets.
The subjects were arrested and taken to a nearby hospital for examination and possible decontamination. By Wednesday morning the suspects had expelled 61 packets of heroin and still remain under observation. When safe, the two men will be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with the drugs.
To prevent the smuggling of humans, drugs and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a strong enforcement posture on major routes of egress from the border.