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Border Patrol Uncovers More Than $500K of Cocaine in Truck

Release Date: 
February 5, 2016

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.— Border Patrol agents arrested a man who allegedly attempted to smuggle cocaine through the Border Patrol checkpoint in San Clemente, Calif. on Thursday.

12 bundles of cocaine were hidden inside vehicle's exhaust system.

Twelve bundles of cocaine were hidden inside vehicle's exhaust system.

The incident occurred at about 9:30 a.m., as agents working at the checkpoint on Interstate 5 encountered the 23-year-old male driver of a Ford F-150 truck and referred him to a secondary inspection.

During the inspection, a Border Patrol K-9 team alerted to the undercarriage of the pickup truck.  Agents conducted a further search of the vehicle and discovered 12 bundles of cocaine stashed inside the truck’s exhaust system.

The bundles weighed 33.20 pounds and have an estimated street value of $531,200.

Richard A. Barlow, Chief Patrol Agent of the San Diego Sector, said, “This seizure illustrates not only the extreme efforts used to smuggle narcotics into our country, but also the high level of skill and effectiveness of Border Patrol agents who work at our checkpoints.”

The driver was arrested and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with the narcotics.  The Ford F-150 was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

In fiscal year 2015, San Diego Sector intercepted 895 pounds of cocaine.

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.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017