Pine Valley, Calif. - Yesterday, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the I-8 checkpoint near Pine Valley arrested a 25-year-old male, naturalized United States citizen, for attempting to smuggle more than 116 pounds of marijuana hidden inside various compartments of a pickup truck.
At approximately 10:30 a.m., agents encountered the man as he arrived at the I-8 checkpoint driving a 1983 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck. During inspection, agents became suspicious of the man's nervous demeanor and referred him for a secondary inspection.
A Border Patrol K-9 team performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle resulting in a positive alert to the bed liner and passenger compartment.
Agents then utilized non-intrusive inspection technology to detect anomalies between the bed liner along the side panels of the truck's bed and in the gas tank.
Agents disassembled the gas tank and the truck's bed liner uncovering numerous bundles of marijuana hidden inside. Agents also discovered bundles hidden behind the seat of the cab and inside the vehicle's spare tire. In total, agents located 42 cellophane wrapped bundles weighing over 116 lbs with an estimated street value of over $70,000.
The suspected smuggler and marijuana were taken into custody and subsequently turned over to a multi-agency drug task force. The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
To prevent illicit smuggling of humans, drugs and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on major corridors of egress away from our nation's borders.