San Diego - Early Tuesday morning, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested two U.S. citizens, one male and one female, and a female Jamaican national suspected of smuggling nearly 300 pounds of marijuana near the Border Patrol checkpoint in Temecula, Calif.
Agents stopped two suspicious vehicles, a 2003 Volvo SUV and a 2011 Chevrolet Impala rental car traveling in tandem on southbound Interstate 15 near Mission Road. At approximately 2:30 a.m., agents questioned the driver of the Volvo, a 22-year-old male resident of Los Angeles, and the 31-year-old driver and 21-year-old passenger of the Impala. Agents became suspicious of the nervous demeanor and inconsistent answers of the three individuals.
A Border Patrol K-9 team was summoned and performed a cursory inspection of the two vehicles, both resulting in a positive alert. Agents performed a search of the Volvo and discovered 63 cellophane-wrapped marijuana bundles with a total weight of 295 pounds and an estimated street value of nearly $177,000. A subsequent search of the Impala revealed $25,294 in cash located in the center console.
The suspected drug smugglers, narcotics, currency and Volvo were taken into custody and subsequently turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Later in the day, Border Patrol agents assigned to the I-8 checkpoint near Pine Valley, Calif., arrested a 48-year-old female Mexican national for attempting to smuggle 103 pounds of marijuana in the tires of a 1995 GMC SUV.
A Border Patrol K-9 team inspection resulted in a positive alert to all four of the GMC's tires. Agents removed the tires and uncovered more than 103 pounds of marijuana concealed inside with an estimated street value of more than $62,000. The suspected smuggler and narcotics were turned over to a multi-agency drug task force. The 1995 GMC SUV was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
To prevent the smuggling of humans, drugs and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a strong enforcement posture on major routes of egress from the border, including the Interstate 15 corridor. Since the beginning of the 2011 fiscal year, agents in the San Diego Sector have seized more than 52,529 pounds of marijuana.
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.