Pine Valley, Calif. - U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a 37-year-old male Mexican national after a failed attempt to smuggle 36 pounds of cocaine through a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint yesterday near Pine Valley.
An agent encountered the man as he arrived at the checkpoint inspection driving a Saturn sedan at about noon. Upon noticing modified components on the roof of the vehicle, the agent referred the driver to secondary inspection.
During the secondary inspection, a Border Patrol K-9 team performed an exterior search of the vehicle, resulting in an alert for the presence of contraband. Through the use of non-intrusive technology, agents then searched the vehicle's interior and discovered 15 packages of cocaine concealed in a secret compartment in the roof of the vehicle.
The cocaine, which had a total weight of 36.8 pounds and an estimated street value of $368,000, was turned over to a multi-agency, anti-drug task force along with the suspected smuggler.
Checkpoint operations enable the U.S. Border Patrol to maintain a layered enforcement approach to prevent illicit cross-border smuggling along major routes of egress along our nation's border.
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.