U.S. Border Patrol agents landed nearly $600,000 worth of illegal drugs on Wednesday after they foiled smuggling attempts at checkpoints in Pine Valley and near Jamul, officials said.
Two Mexican nationals were caught smuggling heroin and a 19-year-old man was taken into custody after agents found 14 bundles of methamphetamine hidden inside the vehicle he was driving, according to a media release.
The 19-year-old suspect drove a white 1996 Ford Mustang into the State Route 94 checkpoint near Jamul at noon, officials said.
After searching his vehicle, agents reportedly discovered methamphetamine inside the rear spoiler. The drugs weighed 7.4 pounds in total and had an estimated street value of $148,000.
The second bust happened at the Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley when a gray 2006 Ford F-350 pickup pulled up at around 1 p.m., officials said.
The vehicle, containing a 40-year-old man and 37-year-old woman, both Mexican nationals, was given a second search after agents noted their nervous demeanor.
A K-9 team conducting the inspection alerted authorities to the pickup’s undercarriage, where agents found 15 bundles of heroin hidden in the front differential and transfer case, officials said.
The drugs, weighing 34.94 pounds, were worth an estimated $419,000.
All three suspects were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation and had their vehicles seized by Border Patrol agents.
Only one week ago, on August 19, a woman attempted to smuggle $470k worth of methamphetamine at the same Pine Valley checkpoint the two Mexican nationals allegedly tried to smuggle drugs into.