CBP U.S. Border Patrol Agents Seize Nearly $1.5 Million in Narcotics During Last Five Days
San Diego - U.S. Border Patrol agents intercepted five narcotic smuggling attempts since Saturday resulting in the seizure of methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana worth an estimated $1,455,290.
On Saturday at approximately 12 p.m., agents at the Interstate 8 checkpoint encountered a 20-year-old male United States citizen driving a 2002 Suzuki XL7. Agents became suspicious of the driver and referred him for a secondary inspection. A Border Patrol K-9 team inspection resulted in an alert to the rear of vehicle near the cargo area. Non-intrusive inspection technology revealed a hidden compartment above the gas tank. Agents removed the vehicle's back bumper to gain access to the compartment and discovered 11 packages of crystal methamphetamine. The narcotics weighed 14.47 pounds and were worth an estimated $289,400.
Two additional incidents occurred on Monday. The first incident occurred at approximately 1 p.m. Agents encountered a 21 year-old male United States citizen driving a 2001 GMC Sonoma as he arrived at the I-8 checkpoint. 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 an alert. Agents searched the vehicle and discovered 58 packages of marijuana in various locations, including the engine air filter, the doors, and the rear quarter panels. The bundles weighed a total of 99.35 pounds and had an estimated street value of $149,010.
The second incident on Monday occurred at approximately 1:40 p.m. Agents assigned to Interstate 5 near San Clemente encountered a 43 year-old male United States citizen driving a 2003 Ford Expedition. Agents became suspicious of the driver's nervous demeanor and requested the assistance of a Border Patrol K-9 team to perform a cursory inspection. The K-9 team inspection resulted in a positive alert. Agents searched the vehicle and discovered 22 bundles of cocaine hidden inside the seats. The cocaine weighed 53.68 pounds and was worth an estimated $590,480.
The suspected smugglers and narcotics in all three events were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
On Tuesday, agents assigned to Interstate 15 near the Murrieta checkpoint prevented two drug smuggling attempts. The first incident occurred at approximately 10:30 a.m. when agents intercepted a 43 year-old female Mexican national driving a 1997 Acura Integra. Agents became suspicious of the driver and her female passenger, which prompted them to request the assistance of a Border Patrol K-9 team to perform a cursory inspection of the vehicle. The K-9 alerted to the hood and the rear of vehicle. A subsequent search revealed a fire extinguisher on the floor behind the driver's seat with three pounds of methamphetamine inside. Agents located a second extinguisher in the trunk of the vehicle with an additional three pounds of methamphetamine inside. The narcotics had an estimated street value of $120,000. The driver and her passenger were arrested and the U.S. Border Patrol took possession of the narcotics and vehicle.
The second incident on Tuesday occurred at approximately 1:15 p.m. when agents intercepted a 19 year-old female United States citizen driving a 1997 Ford Escort on I-15. Agents became suspicious of the woman and her female passenger and conducted a vehicle check at the Murrieta checkpoint. A K-9 team cursory inspection resulted in an alert to the vehicle. Agents searched the vehicle and found 12 bundles of methamphetamine inside the spare tire. The narcotics weighed 15.32 pounds and had an estimated street value of $306,400. The two suspected smugglers and narcotics were turned over to the DEA.
The vehicles used in all five incidents 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. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.