Pine Valley, Calif. - U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the I-8 checkpoint near Pine Valley arrested a 24-year-old male U.S. citizen and his 19-year-old U.S. citizen passenger on Friday for attempting to smuggle nearly 60 pounds of cocaine.
Agents encountered the men at approximately 11:45 a.m., as they arrived at the checkpoint driving a gray 2002 Nissan Xterra. During inspection, agents became suspicious of the men's nervous demeanor and referred them for a secondary inspection. A Border Patrol canine team performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle resulting in a positive alert to the rear cargo compartment. Upon further inspection, agents discovered a non-factory compartment in the roof of the vehicle. Agents located 25 bundles of cocaine weighing nearly 60 pounds with a street value of over $596,000.
Yesterday, agents arrested the 21-year-old male U.S. citizen driver of a silver 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee for attempting to smuggle more than five pounds of crystal methamphetamine. A Border Patrol canine team alerted to the front passenger side door and tire during inspection. A search of the undercarriage of the vehicle revealed the crystal methamphetamine concealed in the differential casing. The narcotics are valued at nearly $95,000.
Later that same day, agents arrested a 21-year-old female U. S. citizen attempting to smuggle 159 pounds of marijuana through the checkpoint in her silver 2000 Dodge Intrepid. A Border Patrol canine team alerted agents to the concealed narcotics. Forty-eight green cellophane-wrapped bundles of marijuana were recovered valued over $95,000.
The suspected smugglers and illicit drugs were all taken into custody and subsequently turned over to a multi-agency drug task force. The vehicles involved in all three cases were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.