TEMECULA, Calif.—Border Patrol agents seized more than 100 pounds of cocaine after a man attempted to elude a checkpoint inspection on Interstate 15 in Temecula on Tuesday morning.
The suspected smuggler, a 46-year-old man, arrived at the checkpoint driving a 2000 Infinity QX4 SUV at about 8 a.m. While the vehicle was being referred to a secondary inspection, the driver sped away from the checkpoint.
Agents were able to catch up to the suspect vehicle after a brief pursuit that ended at a residential area near Temecula Parkway. As the vehicle pursuit ended, the suspect attempted to run away on foot from approaching agents, but he was arrested shortly after one of the agents successfully deployed an electronic control device (i.e., Taser) on him.
The suspect and Infinity SUV were taken to a nearby station, where agents conducted a search and discovered 37 bundles of cocaine stashed inside a speaker box and in a plastic container located in the SUV’s rear cargo area.
The cocaine had a total weight of 101.41 pounds and an estimated street value of $1,521,150.
The suspected smuggler was booked into a Riverside County detention facility and is facing state narcotics charges. The Infiniti SUV was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
So far in fiscal year 2017, Border Patrol agents seized 1,662.39 pounds of cocaine in the 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.