San Clemente, Calif.- U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate 5 checkpoint intercepted two drug smuggling attempts Thursday resulting in the seizure of cocaine and methamphetamine worth an estimated $984,130.
At approximately 11:30 a.m., agents encountered a 31-year-old male United States citizen driving a 2000 Honda Odyssey as he arrived at the San Clemente checkpoint on I-5. Agents became suspicious of the driver's nervous demeanor and referred him and his 27-year-old female passenger for a secondary inspection. A Border Patrol K-9 team performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle resulting in an alert. Agents searched the vehicle and discovered 17 bundles of cocaine hidden near the rear quarter panels. The cocaine weighed 34.83 pounds and had an estimated street value of $383,130.
The second incident occurred at about 4:30 p.m. when agents encountered a 46 year-old male United States citizen driving a 2000 Ford Explorer at the checkpoint. Agents became suspicious of the driver's nervous demeanor and a K-9 team inspection resulted in an alert to the vehicle. Agents searched the vehicle and discovered three trash bags containing bundles of cocaine and methamphetamine inside of a speaker box in the rear cargo area. The cocaine weighed 38.80 pounds and had an estimated street value of $426,800. The methamphetamine weighed 8.71 pounds and had an estimated street value of $174,200.
The suspected smugglers and narcotics involved in both incidents were taken into custody and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation. The vehicles were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
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.
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.