San Clemente, Calif. - U.S. Border Patrol agents yesterday seized a marijuana stash valued at more than $386,000 hidden inside a load of furniture, which was being hauled on Interstate 5, about three miles north of the San Clemente checkpoint.
At about 2:30 p.m., agents stopped a 33-year-old male U.S. citizen, who was driving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck hauling a flatbed trailer filled with furniture. As agents approached the vehicle, they noticed an odor, believed to be marijuana, emanating from the trailer.
The agents summoned a U.S. Border Patrol K-9 team to the scene of the traffic stop. The K-9 team alerted to trailer area, where agents conducted a physical search. Agents discovered bundles of marijuana concealed inside the voids of several items of furniture. Agents removed a total of 65 bundles of marijuana weighing 772.9 pounds.
The suspected smuggler was arrested and was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the marijuana.
The U.S. Border Patrol deploys coordinated enforcement operations along major routes of egress to prevent the smuggling of illicit narcotics into our country.