At about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, a Border Patrol K-9 team was alerted to the rear passenger door of a gray 1998 Dodge Dakota and searched the truck. Hidden inside the door, agents discovered a total of 25 bundles of marijuana. Two male Mexican nationals were arrested as a result of the smuggling attempt. The suspected smugglers and marijuana were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Earlier the same day at about 12:30 p.m., agents assigned to the I-8 checkpoint in Pine Valley also seized 146.7 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $88,000. The marijuana was discovered after a Border Patrol K-9 team alerted to an auxiliary fuel tank in the bed of a white 2003 Ford F-150. A 29-year-old male U.S. citizen and his 22-year-old Mexican female passenger were arrested as a result of the incident. The suspected smugglers and marijuana were turned over to a multi-agency drug taskforce. The Ford F-150 was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
On Wednesday, agents assigned to the same checkpoint near Pine Valley, spoiled two additional drug smuggling attempts, resulting in the seizure of nearly $750,000 of crystal methamphetamine. At approximately 3 a.m., agents encountered the 23-year-old male American citizen driving of a gold 1999 Chevrolet Lumina as he arrived at the checkpoint. During inspection, agents became suspicious of the man’s nervous demeanor and referred him for a secondary inspection.
The agents also noticed anomalies around the engine of the vehicle. They searched the vehicle and discovered numerous plastic bags of crystal methamphetamine hidden inside of the engine compartment totaling 5.82 pounds with an estimated street value of $104,760.
The second seizure took place at 9 a.m., when agents assigned to the checkpoint encountered the driver of a gold Chrysler 300. Agents noticed the driver, a 22-year-old male American citizen, appeared nervous 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 trunk and rear bumper.
Agents searched the vehicle and discovered an access door to a non-factory compartment near the spare tire containing a total of 30 cellophane-wrapped bundles of crystal methamphetamine. A total of 35.05 pounds was discovered with an estimated street value of $630,900.
The suspected smugglers and drugs in both incidents were taken into custody and subsequently turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The vehicles were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Read more: San Clemente Times - Border Patrol Seizes 900 000 in Drugs