USBP Agents Seize Methamphetamine, Cocaine in Separate Traffic Stops
SAN DIEGO — U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents seized methamphetamine and cocaine in two separate events on Thursday.
The first incident occurred Thursday, at approximately 12:30 p.m., when agents conducting highway interdiction duties observed a white Mitsubishi Galant on I-15 north near Rainbow, CA. When the driver of the vehicle became aware of USBP presence, he hastily exited the freeway. An agent initiated a traffic stop to check for immigration or narcotics violations. The driver of the vehicle, a 23-year-old male U.S. citizen exited the vehicle and immediately assumed a hand-cuffing position, placing his hands behind his back. Upon questioning, the driver then freely admitted that he had an unknown quantity of narcotics inside the vehicle.
Agents conducted an inspection of the vehicle with a service canine. The canine alerted to the presence of narcotics inside the vehicle. The driver and passenger (a 22-year-old male U.S. citizen) were both arrested and transported to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing.
At the station, agents removed a total of 24 packages of suspected narcotics from a box on the rear floorboard of the vehicle. Testing confirmed the packages contained methamphetamine. The total weight of the packages was 18.3 pounds. During the investigation, the driver notified agents that additional methamphetamine was left behind at his El Cajon residence to be transported later. Agents responded and discovered four additional packages of methamphetamine with a weight of 3.04 pounds.
Both men from the traffic stop and the narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) pending federal prosecution. The Mitsubishi was seized by USBP.
During a second incident, agents on I-5 north observed a white Ford Escape that began driving erratically, nearly striking other vehicles on the freeway. Agents conducted a traffic stop approximately one mile north of the San Clemente USBP checkpoint.
The driver, a 23-year-old male Mexican national, provided agents with permission to inspect the vehicle with a service canine. The canine alerted to the presence of narcotics and as agents searched the vehicle, they discovered a non-factory compartment in the floor of the vehicle. Agents then placed the driver under arrest and transported him to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing.
At the station, agents removed a total of 30 bundles from the non-factory compartment. Testing confirmed the contents of the bundles were consistent with cocaine. The total weight of the cocaine was 83.77 pounds, valued at over one million dollars. The driver and cocaine were turned over to the DEA pending federal prosecution. The vehicle was seized by USBP.
“During these uncertain and troubling times, our agents remain vigilant against all criminal activity,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke. “Thanks to the professionalism and dedication of our agents on the frontline, these dangerous drugs will not reach any community in our country.”
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on 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.