San Diego - U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to separate San Diego Border Patrol checkpoints stopped two drug smuggling attempts in the last five days resulting in the seizure of $550,110 of cocaine.
On Tuesday at approximately 9:45 a.m., agents encountered a 23-year-old male Mexican national legally present in the United States, as he arrived at the Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley, Calif. driving a white 1994 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup. During inspection, agents became suspicious of the driver's nervous demeanor and referred him for a secondary inspection.
A Border Patrol K-9 team performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle resulting in a positive alert to the passenger side front wheel well of the truck. Agents searched the truck and discovered 10 bundles of cocaine concealed inside the firewall. The cocaine had a total weight of 28.4 pounds with an estimated street value of $284,000.
On Saturday, Sept. 3, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate 5 checkpoint near San Clemente, Calif. stopped another drug smuggling attempt at 7:15 a.m. Agents seized 26.61 pounds of cocaine after a Border Patrol K-9 team alerted to the trunk of a silver 2009 Mercedes Benz C300 driven by a 31-year-old male United States citizen. Agents searched the vehicle and found 10 brick-shaped packages of cocaine hidden in a black duffle bag in the trunk. The total estimated street value of the narcotics was $266,110.
Both suspected smugglers and drugs were taken into custody and subsequently turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation. The vehicles in both events were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
To prevent illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on major corridors of egress away from our nation's borders. Since Oct. 1, 2010, San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents have seized more than 1,800 pounds of cocaine valued at more than $1.8 million.
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.