Pine Valley, Calif. - Over the weekend, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a 42-year-old man for attempting to smuggle more than 10.5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine through a checkpoint inspection on Interstate 8 near Pine Valley.
On Saturday at 1 a.m., agents encountered the man, a U.S. citizen and resident of Los Angeles, as he arrived to the checkpoint driving a Ford Mustang. During the inspection, agents became suspicious of the man's nervous actions, prompting them to direct the vehicle to a secondary inspection.
A Border Patrol K-9 team conducted a cursory inspection of the vehicle, resulting in a positive alert to the rear of the vehicle. Agents physically searched the trunk of the vehicle and discovered grocery bags containing several cans of vegetables. An inspection of the cans revealed anomalies in five of them, which led agents to open those cans and discover bottles containing crystal methamphetamine sealed inside.
The suspected smuggler and the methamphetamine, which had a total weight of 10.67 pounds, and an estimated street value of $192,060, were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Last month, Border Patrol agents at the San Clemente checkpoint thwarted a marijuana smuggling attempt in which sealed vegetable cans were also used.
Through coordinated enforcement operations, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a strong defense-in-depth enforcement posture along major routes of egress from the border to our nation's interior.