MURRIETA, Calif.—A 53-year-old man was arrested on Friday afternoon after Border Patrol agents discovered nearly $200,000 worth of narcotics stashed in a vehicle he was driving on Interstate 215 in Murrieta, Calif.
At about 1:30 p.m., agents stopped the vehicle, a Dodge Journey SUV, on northbound I-215, near the Murrieta Hot Springs Rd. exit. During the vehicle stop, a canine sniff was conducted on the vehicle and signaled agents to the narcotics.
After conducting a further search of the SUV, the agents located a man-made compartment built into the vehicle’s firewall. The agents extracted 57 bundles of methamphetamine and two bundles of heroin from the compartment.
The methamphetamine had a total weight of 53.55 pounds and an estimated street value of $128,520. The heroin weighed 6.21 pounds and was valued at $68,310.
The suspected smuggler was booked into a Riverside County jail, and is facing state narcotics charges. The Dodge Journey was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
This incident came on the heels of a 34.94-pound methamphetamine seizure that took place during another Border Patrol vehicle stop in Murrieta on April 6.
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.