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.
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.