San Diego

Woman Had 5 Kids, $1M in Illegal Drugs in Minivan: Border Officials

There were 206 wrapped packages of drugs, officials said.

A Southern California woman and her five children were stopped Monday at the U.S.-Mexico border with 231 pounds of illegal drugs hidden in their minivan.

The woman, identified by the Drug Enforcement Agency as Karen Celia Solis, 34, was driving a Honda Odyssey when she was stopped just after midnight at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.

Solis' five children were inside the van at the time, officials said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said they found illegal drugs hidden throughout the minivan.

When officers put the van through the imaging system, they found unusual images in the doors, the side panels, the gas tank and the spare tire well, according to a CBP news release.

Inside those areas, officers found enough methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin to total more than $1 million on the street.

There were 206 wrapped packages of drugs, officials said.

“CBP has seen many forms of drug smuggling through the years,” Pete Flores, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego said in the written release. “The hardest ones are when adults include their children in attempted smuggling schemes.”

Solis was arrested and booked into Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility in Santee, California. Her children were turned over to the custody of a family member, officials said. 

As of Wednesday, the case was still under review with the DEA and had not been submitted to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office. 

Solis has lived in Riverside, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties.

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