TEMECULA, Calif.—A vehicle stop by U.S. Border Patrol agents Tuesday morning in Temecula led to the arrest of a 39-year-old man for smuggling a variety of narcotics valued at more than $700 thousand dollars.
The seizure took place at about 10:15 a.m., when agents stopped the male driver of a 2004 Nissan Maxima on northbound Interstate 15 near the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint. After agents interviewed the driver, a Border Patrol K-9 conducted a search and alerted agents to the vehicle.
Agents conducted a further search of the vehicle and discovered 34 bundles of narcotics stashed inside secret compartments that were built beneath the vehicle’s floor boards.
The bundles contained 4.25 pounds of brown heroin, 11.73 pounds of white heroin, 7.21 pounds of cocaine, and 32.21 pounds of crystal methamphetamine. The total estimated street value of the narcotics was $717,220.
San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Richard Barlow said, “Without a doubt, this seizure was a significant blow to the criminal organization that was accountable for the narcotics. This seizure could not have taken place without the vigilance demonstrated by the involved agents.”
The narcotics and the suspected smuggler were turned over to a task force headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Nissan Maxima was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Since October 1, 2015, Border Patrol agents in San Diego Sector have intercepted 598.42 pounds of cocaine, 1,521.61 pounds of methamphetamine, and 2,447.53 ounces of heroin.
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance in 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.