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Vehicle Stop Leads to Cocaine Seizure Worth Nearly $275K

Release Date: 
April 21, 2021

MURRIETA, Calif. — U.S. Border Patrol agents seized 19 pounds of cocaine valued at $274,050 during a vehicle stop on Monday morning.

The incident began at approximately 5:30 a.m., when agents conducted a traffic stop of a suspicious driver traveling northbound on Interstate 15 in a Jeep Liberty.

Agents physically searched the vehicle and found two bundles of suspected narcotics beneath a sweater in the back seat of the vehicle, and another five bundles concealed inside the vehicle’s dashboard.Agents utilized a service canine to perform a search of the vehicle.  The service canine alerted to the presence of narcotics.  Agents physically searched the vehicle and found two bundles of suspected narcotics beneath a sweater in the back seat of the vehicle, and another five bundles concealed inside the vehicle’s dashboard.

Agents field tested the contents of one of the packages, which tested positive for cocaine.  The total weight of the cocaine was approximately 19 pounds, with an estimated street value of $274,050.  The driver, a 46-year-old United States citizen, and passenger, a 19-year-old United States citizen, were both placed under arrest.  The driver, passenger, and narcotics were turned over to Riverside Sheriff’s Department pending state prosecution.  The vehicle was seized by USBP.

“While San Diego Sector patrols 60 linear miles of border with Mexico,” said U.S. Border Patrol San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke, “our work at the border protects communities throughout our country.  I am proud of our agents and their efforts.”

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.          

Last modified: 
April 21, 2021