San Diego — U.S. Border Patrol agents prevented two drug smuggling attempts this week near the San Clemente checkpoint on Interstate 5, resulting in the seizure of methamphetamine and heroin worth an estimated $1,044,640.
The first smuggling attempt occurred on Tuesday at approximately 8:30 p.m., when Border Patrol agents encountered a 19-year-old United States citizen driving a 1997 black Honda Civic at the I-5 checkpoint. Agents became suspicious of the driver and his 20-year-old passenger’s nervous demeanors and referred the vehicle for secondary inspection. A Border Patrol K-9 team performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle resulting in an alert. Agents searched the vehicle and discovered 13 bundles of methamphetamine in a black duffle bag on the back seat. Upon discovery of the drugs, the driver of the vehicle ran from the checkpoint into traffic on the northbound I-5 and was quickly apprehended. The driver and his passenger, a United States citizen, were taken into custody and face Federal charges for drug smuggling. The methamphetamine weighed 27.67 pounds and had an estimated street value of $553,400.
Yesterday, Border Patrol agents observed a gray 2003 Land Rover Freelander parked south of the checkpoint in San Clemente. Agents became suspicious of the vehicle and approached the driver, a 33-year-old male United States citizen. After questioning the driver, agents conducted a K-9 team inspection of the vehicle, which resulted in a positive alert. Agents searched the vehicle and discovered 13 bundles of heroin and 10 bundles of methamphetamine hidden in a non-factory compartment under the floorboard. The heroin weighed 19.62 pounds and had an estimated street value of $235,440. The methamphetamine weighed 12.79 pounds and had an estimated street value of $255,800. The suspected smuggler and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
The vehicles in both events were 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. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.
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 dangerous people and capabilities out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.