SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.— Border Patrol agents working at the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint in San Clemente seized more than 38 pounds of crystal methamphetamine that was stashed within plastic bottles hidden inside the gas tank of a SUV on Wednesday.
At about 3:15 p.m., agents encountered the SUV, a 2004 Jeep Liberty driven by a 21-year-old male U.S. citizen. After the initial checkpoint inspection, the Jeep Liberty was referred to a secondary inspection, where a Border Patrol K-9 alerted to the undercarriage of the vehicle.
During a closer inspection of the undercarriage of the vehicle, agents searched the gas tank of the SUV through the use of a fiber-optic scope and made the initial discovery of the methamphetamine.
A total of 30 vacuum-sealed plastic bottles containing crystal methamphetamine were extracted from the gas tank. The methamphetamine had a total weight of 38.73 pounds and an estimated street value of $439,250.
The driver of the Jeep Liberty was arrested for narcotics smuggling and was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with the methamphetamine. The Jeep Liberty was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
In fiscal year 2015, San Diego Sector intercepted 2,266 pounds of methamphetamine.
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.