Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

U.S. Border Patrol Agents Thwart Two Narcotics Smuggling Attempts Totaling More Than $1 Million

San Diego —U.S. Border Patrol agents prevented two drug smuggling attempts yesterday, resulting in the seizure of methamphetamine and cocaine worth an estimated $1,093,000. 

The first smuggling attempt was thwarted at approximately 9 a.m., when Border Patrol agents spotted a 2003 Black GMC Envoy driving westbound on Interstate 8. The SUV exited I-8 at the Kitchen Creek Road off ramp and stopped. Agents questioned the female driver, a 39-year-old United States citizen, and became suspicious after observing her nervous demeanor. A Border Patrol K-9 team performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle resulting in an alert. Agents brought the vehicle to the Border Patrol checkpoint near Pine Valley and utilized non-intrusive inspection technology which detected anomalies in the front and rear bumpers. Upon further inspection Border Patrol agents removed a total of 23 bundles of narcotics from the bumpers. Nineteen of those bundles held 30.8 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $617,000. The four remaining bundles held 11.2 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $112,000.

About an hour later, Border Patrol agents observed a 1999 white Toyota Solara exit northbound Interstate 5 and parked approximately six miles south of the Border Patrol checkpoint in San Clemente. Agents observed white smoke emitting from the vehicle’s engine compartment and approached the driver, a 26-year-old male, United States citizen. After questioning the driver, he consented to a Border Patrol K-9 team cursory inspection of the vehicle. 

This inspection resulted in a positive alert to the rear quarter panel area of the vehicle. Upon further examination agents discovered an aftermarket compartment in the quarter panels that concealed 15 bundles of methamphetamine. The total weight of the methamphetamine was 18.2 pounds with an estimated street value of $364,000.

The suspected smugglers and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation. The vehicles used in both smuggling attempts 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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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