SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.—U.S. Border Patrol agents encountered a woman yesterday morning who was allegedly smuggling bundles of cocaine while traveling with two children along Interstate 5 near San Clemente.
At approximately 10 a.m., a Border Patrol K-9 handler stopped a 2001 Honda Accord driven by a 25-year-old female on northbound I-5, near the Cristianitos Rd. exit. The vehicle was also occupied by two children, a 2-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy. During the stop, the agent’s K-9 alerted to the vehicle and agents conducted a search of the interior, resulting in the discovery of 14 bundles of cocaine.
Three bundles of cocaine were stashed in the front passenger seat, where the boy sat. The rear passenger seat, where the girl sat, contained eight packages of cocaine. Three additional packages of cocaine were hidden inside the driver’s seat. The 14 bundles weighed a total of 38.25 pounds and has an estimated street value of $459,000.
Patrol Agent in Charge Thomas Blanks said, “It is very sad to see innocent children entangled in this shameful attempt to smuggle illicit narcotics.”
The woman was arrested and turned over to a task force led by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The children were turned over to San Diego County Child Welfare Services. The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
As of July 31, 2016, San Diego Sector has intercepted 1,069 pounds of cocaine during fiscal year 2016.
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance in 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.
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.