Photo: $4 Million Worth of Cocaine Found at US-Mexico Border
U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley arrested a lawfully admitted permanent resident for smuggling more than 330 pounds of cocaine in a tractor trailer yesterday.
At approximately 1:30 p.m., agents encountered a 46-year-old male Mexican national as he arrived at the checkpoint driving a red 1998 Freightliner tractor trailer. During inspection, agents became suspicious of the truck driver’s nervous demeanor and referred him for a secondary inspection.
A Border Patrol canine team performed a cursory inspection of the tractor trailer resulting in a positive alert. Further inspection revealed two non-factory compartments inside the fuel tanks. Agents discovered 130 bundles of cocaine with a total weight of more than 334 pounds and an estimated street value of $3,346,600 inside the compartments.
Tuesday, in an unrelated incident, agents assigned to the Interstate 15 checkpoint near Temecula arrested a 21-year-old male United States citizen for smuggling 78 bundles of marijuana in the rear seat and trunk of a white 2004 Dodge Stratus. The total weight of the drugs was more than 416 pounds with an estimated street value of nearly $250,000.
In addition, Border Patrol agents stopped the 20-year-old male United States citizen driver of a silver 2004 Chrysler Pacifica near the I-15 checkpoint on Friday. A Border Patrol canine team positively alerted to the rear seat of the vehicle, resulting in the discovery of an electronically locked compartment below the vehicle’s third row seat. Agents opened the non-factory compartment and discovered 10 bundles of cocaine with a total weight of more than 25 pounds and worth an estimated $251,300.
The suspected smugglers and drugs from the three incidents were taken into custody and subsequently turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The tractor trailer, Dodge Stratus, and Chrysler Pacifica were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.