SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — U.S. Border Patrol agents on Interstate 5 intercepted two drug smugglers Wednesday morning and netted more than $600K of marijuana and cocaine.
The first incident occurred at approximately 9:30 a.m. San Clemente agents were conducting operations at the checkpoint and referred a 23-year-old U.S. citizen for a secondary inspection.
The man told agents in secondary that he was en route to the Long Beach airport to pick up a friend. Agents received permission to search the man’s Ford Fusion and noticed the smell of marijuana when they opened the trunk. The trunk was filled with suitcases and the man admitted they contained marijuana. Agents opened the suitcases and found 63 bundles.
The brick-sized bundles weighed 213.85 pounds and have an estimated street value of $128,310. Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration took custody of the suspect and marijuana.
Minutes later, agents patrolling I-5 observed a 2000 Honda Civic driven by a 20-year-old U.S. citizen and initiated a vehicle stop near the checkpoint. A K-9 sniff of the vehicle resulted in a positive alert.
The driver and vehicle were taken to the San Clemente Station for further inspection and a more detailed search revealed 17 bundles of cocaine hidden inside a speaker box in the trunk.
The cocaine bundles weighed 40.90 pounds and have an estimated street value of $531,700. Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations took custody of the man and narcotics.
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.