San Clemente, Calif.—U.S. Border Patrol agents interdict 6.7 million dollars of cocaine.
At approximately 1:15 a.m., Border Patrol agents performed an immigration inspection on the sole occupant of a 2011 Hyundai Elantra at the I-5 checkpoint near San Clemente, Calif. The occupant, a 54-year-old man dressed in a suit and tie, told the agents that he was a United States citizen. The agents were suspicious that the occupant was not telling the truth so they detained him for further investigation. Subsequent records checks provided proof that the man was not a U.S. citizen, but was in fact a Mexican national. Agents then arrested him for making a false claim to U.S. citizenship.
Subsequent to his arrest, agents searched the man’s vehicle and discovered numerous large cardboard boxes inside the trunk and in the backseat. Each box contained several wrapped packages of cocaine. A total of 53 packages were recovered from the vehicle. The total weight of the cocaine was 670 pounds, which has an estimated street value of $6.7 million dollars.
“Our checkpoints serve as part of the Border Patrol’s layered enforcement approach to secure our borders and prevent smugglers from using our highways to transport people or contraband into the country,” said San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Paul Beeson. “The illicit-drugs we prevent from being sold on our streets not only keeps our communities safer but will deny transnational criminal organizations those expected proceeds.”
The man, vehicle, and narcotics were turned over to one of the newest California Corridor Campaign partners, the Drug Enforcement Agency, for prosecution.
During fiscal year 2013, San Diego Sector Border Patrol seized a total of 828 pounds of cocaine. This latest cocaine seizure represents 81 percent of fiscal year 2013’s total.
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.
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.