San Diego's Border Busts

Images of smuggling attempts at their finest, at U.S. border checkpoints and crossings near San Diego County.

115 photos
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Oct. 4, 2020, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the I-8 checkpoint in Pine Valley discovered 84 pounds of cocaine and 4 pounds of fentanyl pills hidden beneath the front tire of a man’s BMW as he tried to cross the checkpoint.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
A K-9 alerted agents to the tire where they then found 35 brick-shaped, wrapped packages of drugs worth more than $1 million, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said. The driver – a 21-year-old U.S. citizen – was arrested on suspicion of smuggling the 88 pounds of drugs.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at the Tecate Port of Entry found 337 pounds of meth and 223 pounds of cocaine, carrying an estimated value of nearly $4 million, concealed in quartz boulders.
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CBP
For the second time in less than a week, CBP agents located hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine hidden within a shipment of cactus.(Aug. 11, 2020)
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CBP
In the second seizure on Aug. 11, a drug inspection at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry located about 1,464 pounds of meth estimated to be worth $3.3 million on the streets, CBP said. A U.S. Citizen was taken into custody.
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CBP
On Aug. 7, CBP stopped another cactus-hauling truck at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry and found 668 pounds of methamphetamine worth an estimated $1.5 million inside, the agency said. Cactus is often used in nopales or prickly pear dishes and drinks.
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CBP
Also on Aug. 7 at the Otay Mesa crossing, CBP found boxes of lime harboring about 15,000 pounds of marijuana. At the Calexico Port of Entry later that day, fentanyl, heroin and dozens of pounds of meth were located in a spare tire, CBP said.
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CBP
An SUV stopped at an I-8 checkpoint in East County was storing about 100 pounds of meth in it’s body, CBP agents discovered. The drugs were estimated to have a street value of nearly $230,000. (Aug. 8, 2020)
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CBP
The drugs, in 98 vacuum-sealed baggies, were stuffed in the SUV’s doors and in a spare tire. A Mexican man legally living in the U.S. was arrested and charged. (Aug. 8, 2020)
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
CBP said they seized nearly 1,500 pounds of drugs in about 14 hours on Saturday. Agents first stopped a panga loaded with about 600 pounds of meth that rammed into USCG and CBP vessels before being stopped. Four people were arrested. (Aug. 8, 2020)
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Less than a day later, a suspicious fishing boat was spotted on San Diego Bay. On it was 2 people without documentation to be in the U.S. and about 800 pounds of marijuana. (Aug. 8, 2020) Drugs from both incidents were seized.
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U.S. Border Patrol
A 26-year-old Mexico citizen was arrested Wednesday in Escondido for allegedly trafficking nearly $1 million in cash inside the gas tank of his Volkswagen SUV via Interstate 15, according to U.S. Border Patrol.
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U.S. Border Patrol
Agents were alerted to the smuggling attempt via K-9, the agency said. Inside the gas tank, agents found 65 plastic-wrapped bundles of cash totaling more than $967,000. The money was seized and the man was arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations, Border Patrol said.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On July 19, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found 614 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a shipment of green onions in a trailer being pulled by a tractor at the Otay Mesa commercial facility. The meth was wrapped among 40 packages, mixed into boxes carrying green onions, and was worth approximately $1.4 million.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
CBP officials said the driver – a 31-year-old Mexican citizen – was stopped as he pulled into the Otay Mesa facility. When his tractor and trailer went through the X-ray imaging system, CBP officers suspected anomalies in the shipment in his trailer. A detector dog alerted officers to the boxes, where they ended up finding the meth.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On July 23, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo port of entry seized 286 pounds of methamphetamine and 26 pounds of fentanyl hidden in the sleeper cab of a tractor-trailer truck. CBP officers seized the narcotics, tractor and trailer.  The driver, a 36-year-old Mexican citizen with a valid B1/B2 border-crossing card, was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center to face federal charges.
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U.S. Border Patrol
U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents assigned to the Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley arrested 12 undocumented migrants who were being smuggled within a hay-stack on a tractor-trailer on June 18.
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U.S. Border Patrol
The incident occurred on June 18 at approximately 3:30 p.m. when a man driving a white tractor-trailer loaded with hay bales approached the I-8 checkpoint. While the primary agent conducted an immigration inspection, a Border Patrol K-9 alerted to the middle section of the trailer.
Once in secondary, agents inspected the hay-stack load and discovered 12 people hidden inside a void within the stacks of hay.
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U.S. Border Patrol
All 12 were safely removed from the hay-stacks. All were adult male Mexican nationals with no legal right to enter or remain in the U.S.
The driver, a 46-year-old U.S. citizen was booked for alien smuggling.
The tractor-trailer was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
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CBP
On June 10, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine agents stopped a boat that was spray painted black just west of Coronado with 10 people reportedly on board trying to enter into the U.S.
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CBP
Border Patrol agents processed the passengers -- all Mexican citizens ages 18-55 -- for return to Mexico. The boat was seized.
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U.S. Coast Guard
On May 20, members of the Coast Guard Cutter Active (WMEC-618) boarding team inspected a suspected smuggling vessel containing more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean worth approximately $37 million. The cocaine was seized and the suspected smugglers were detained.
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U.S. Border Patrol
On May 1, at approximately 1:25 a.m., a silver 2001 Infiniti QX4 approached the I-8 checkpoint. While agents questioned the driver, a K9 detection team performed a sniff of the vehicle. The driver was referred to secondary inspection after the K9 alerted to the vehicle. Further search, agents found 39 plastic-wrapped packages of methamphetamine concealed inside three duffle bags on the backseat of the car. The packages weighed 56.88 pounds and have an estimated street value of $62,568. The two occupants, the father who is a 42-year-old U.S. citizen, and his daughter, 18, were placed under arrest.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On April 13, 2020, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a woman at the Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley after they discovered nearly 44 pounds of meth hidden in her Dodge Journey. A K-9 alerted agents to the car; inside, agents found 42 bundles of meth stashed inside both rear quarter panels. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the drugs had an estimated street value of $98,505. The woman – a 22-year-old U.S. citizen – was arrested on suspicion of smuggling.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On April 13, 2020, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a woman at the Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley after they discovered nearly 44 pounds of meth hidden in her Dodge Journey. A K-9 alerted agents to the car; inside, agents found 42 bundles of meth stashed inside both rear quarter panels. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the drugs had an estimated street value of $98,505. The woman – a 22-year-old U.S. citizen – was arrested on suspicion of smuggling.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On March 4, 2020, U.S. Border Patrol agents discovered more than 70 pounds of cocaine hidden inside a man’s truck. They had stopped the truck on I-215 near Murrieta Hot Springs. When a K-9 alerted agents to search the truck, agents found 27 bundles of cocaine stashed inside the truck’s front and rear seats and underneath the seats. The drugs had an estimated street value of $786,450, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The driver of the truck – a 32-year-old U.S. citizen – was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Border Patrol agents stopped a 2013 BMW sedan on I-5 near the San Onofre truck scales around 3:15 p.m. on Jan. 16, 2020. A K-9 alerted agents to the vehicle where they found 50 packages of methamphetamine weighing 49.5 pounds with an estimated street value of $94,240, CBP said. The 36-year-old U.S. citizen driver was arrested.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Border Patrol agents stopped a 2013 BMW sedan on I-5 near the San Onofre truck scales around 3:15 p.m. on Jan. 16, 2020. A K-9 alerted agents to the vehicle where they found 50 packages of methamphetamine weighing 49.5 pounds with an estimated street value of $94,240, CBP said. The 36-year-old U.S. citizen driver was arrested.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Jan. 16, 2020, agents patrolling northbound I-15, north of State Route 76, initiated a vehicle stop on a 2008 Honda Civic around noon and a K-9 alerted agents to the vehicle. A hidden compartment held about 13 pounds of methamphetamine, 5 pounds of fentanyl and 4 pounds, approximately 15,000 pills of oxycontin, CBP said. Altogether, the drugs weighed 22.33 pounds and had an estimated street value of $553,225. The 54-year-old U.S. citizen was arrested by agents.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Jan. 13, 2020, a 2006 Volkswagen Jetta pulled up to the State Route 94 checkpoint around 10:30 p.m. A K-9 unit alerted agents who then patted down the occupants and searched the car, finding three bundles of meth beneath a 14-year-old’s clothing and 49 packages inside backpacks. Agents arrested the driver, a 34-year-old U.S. citizen, along with three teenage males, including two Mexican nationals. The packages had an estimated street value of $102,000, CBP said.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Jan. 13, 2020, a 2006 Volkswagen Jetta pulled up to the State Route 94 checkpoint around 10:30 p.m. A K-9 unit alerted agents who then patted down the occupants and searched the car, finding three bundles of meth beneath a 14-year-old’s clothing and 49 packages inside backpacks. Agents arrested the driver, a 34-year-old U.S. citizen, along with three teenage males, including two Mexican nationals. The packages had an estimated street value of $102,000, CBP said.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Jan. 10, 2020, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a man with 101 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside his 2001 Ford Explorer. Around 11:15 a.m., an agent patrolling I-15 near Temecula found the vehicle suspicious and followed it off the highway onto Route 395. While parked at a gas station in Rainbow, the agent spoke to the man while his canine performed an exterior sniff analysis of the vehicle and alerted the agent. CBP said 96 packages were found hidden inside the gas tank, spare tire and quarter panels of the vehicle, with a total value of $191,900. The 34-year-old suspect is a U.S. citizen, CBP said, and he will face charges for narcotics trafficking.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Jan. 10, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a man with 101 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside his 2001 Ford Explorer. Around 11:15 a.m., an agent patrolling I-15 near Temecula found the vehicle suspicious and followed it off the highway onto Route 395. While parked at a gas station in Rainbow, the agent spoke to the man while his canine performed an exterior sniff analysis of the vehicle and alerted the agent. CBP said 96 packages were found hidden inside the gas tank, spare tire and quarter panels of the vehicle, with a total value of $191,900. The 34-year-old suspect is a U.S. citizen, CBP said, and he will face charges for narcotics trafficking.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Jan. 10, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a man with 101 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside his 2001 Ford Explorer. Around 11:15 a.m., an agent patrolling I-15 near Temecula found the vehicle suspicious and followed it off the highway onto Route 395. While parked at a gas station in Rainbow, the agent spoke to the man while his canine performed an exterior sniff analysis of the vehicle and alerted the agent. CBP said 96 packages were found hidden inside the gas tank, spare tire and quarter panels of the vehicle, with a total value of $191,900. The 34-year-old suspect is a U.S. citizen, CBP said, and he will face charges for narcotics trafficking.
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U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a woman near Oceanside who, along with her 7-year-old child, had more than 48 pounds of methamphetamine inside her vehicle. On Dec. 3, border agents who were on routine patrol near the Oceanside Harbor exit on Interstate 5, pulled over a black Kia Forte after they believed the driver’s behavior became suspicious. Inside the trunk agents discovered a duffel bag with 20 bundles of methamphetamine, valued at $92,986. The driver was a 26-year-old Mexican national with a valid B1/B2 tourist visa. She was placed under arrest and faces charges for felony drug trafficking. The minor child with her was placed with local child protective services.
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U.S. Border Patrol
U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a teen near the San Diego-Tijuana border after officials claimed the boy used a remote-controlled car to smuggle $100,000 worth of meth into the country.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Fourteen people were arrested a little after midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 26, entering San Diego waters in a camouflaged boat, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said. Agents first noticed the boat near the international marine boundary line and then intercepted it about 8 miles west of Mission Bay. All 14 passengers were Mexican nationals, including two men charged with alien smuggling, CBP said.
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U.S. Border Patrol
The 16-year-old U.S. citizen was first spotted by agents at around 12:30 a.m. Sunday near the secondary border wall, according to Border Patrol.
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U.S. Border Patrol
Border Patrol seized two duffel bags from the teen which held more than 55 pounds of methamphetamine and a remote-controlled car. Agents valued the meth at $106,096.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Nov. 13, 2019, U.S. Border Patrol Agents arrested a man near Temecula who had cocaine bundles in his car. The bundles weighed 10.77 pounds and have an estimated street value of $110,000. The 29-year-old driver who is a U.S. citizen was arrested.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Nov. 5, 2019, U.S. Border Patrol agents working the checkpoint along westbound Interstate 8 in Pine Valley discovered more than 38 pounds of crystal methamphetamine stashed inside the gas tank of a 2008 Nissan Altima trying to cross the checkpoint. A K-9 alerted agents to the vehicle as the driver approached. During a secondary inspection, Border Patrol agents found 32 plastic-wrapped bundles of drugs inside the gas tank. The crystal meth had an estimated street value of nearly $73,000. The driver, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested on suspicion of smuggling.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
CBP at a border port of entry found 527 pounds of marijuana covered in jalapeño wrapping paper hidden among a shipment of actual jalapeños. The driver arrived around 7 p.m. on Oct. 25, driving a tractor with an attached trailer full of what appeared to be mixed produce. CBP officers found 100 large wrapped packages weighing 527 pounds, with an estimated street value of $211,000 after a K-9 team detected the packages. The driver was a 28-year-old man of Mexican citizenship.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border Patrol agents pulled over a 1997 Chevrolet pickup truck after observing it weaving in and out of lanes on Interstate 5 near Camino de Estrella on Oct. 22, 2019, at around 3 a.m. While conducting a safety check, the agents grew suspicious of the driver's behavior and requested a K-9 team, CBP said in a press release. The K-9 alerted agents to the truck's engine compartment where they found four packages of brown heroin stashed inside the truck's air intake box. The bundles weighed 4.85 pounds and had an estimated street value of $127,200. The driver, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen, was placed under arrest and will face charges for felony drug trafficking.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border patrol agents pulled over a woman, 25, with her 6-year-old son in a 1999 Ford Expedition at an Interstate 8 checkpoint on Oct. 1, 2019. A K-9 dog alerted agents who found 67.68 pounds of crystal methamphetamine inside the spare tire as well as inside rear door compartments. The 65 bundles are valued at $179,352. Agents arrested the woman, a Mexican national, and placed her child with Child Protective Services.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border patrol agents pulled over a woman, 25, with her 6-year-old son in a 1999 Ford Expedition at an Interstate 8 checkpoint on Oct. 1, 2019. A K-9 dog alerted agents who found 67.68 pounds of crystal methamphetamine in compartments towards the rear of the car. The 65 bundles are valued at $179,352. Agents arrested the woman and placed the child with Child Protective Services.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border patrol agents pulled over a woman, 25, with her 6-year-old son in a 1999 Ford Expedition at an Interstate 8 checkpoint on Oct. 1, 2019. A K-9 dog alerted agents who found 67.68 pounds of crystal methamphetamine in compartments towards the rear of the car. The 65 bundles are valued at $179,352. Agents arrested the woman and placed the child with Child Protective Services.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border Patrol agents pulled over a 2008 Saturn Aura at an Interstate 8 checkpoint on Sept. 28, 2019, at around 12 p.m. A K-9 discovered 29.28 pounds of crystal methamphetamine hidden in a compartment above the gas tank. The narcotics are valued at $67,344. Two women, both 19 years old and U.S. citizens, were arrested.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Sept. 3, 2019, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the Pine Valley checkpoint on westbound Interstate 8 ran an inspection on a man’s 2010 Ford Focus as it entered the checkpoint. A K-9 alerted agents to the backseat of the car. Agents hoisted the car onto a hydraulic lift. While looking deeper into the car, they found 20 plastic-wrapped bundles of crystal methamphetamine floating inside the gas tank. The bundles weighed more than 26 pounds; the drugs had an estimated street value of $60,260. The driver – a 29-year-old Mexican national – was arrested on suspicion of drug charges.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Aug. 7, 2019, San Diego U.S. Border Patrol agents stopped a sedan carrying two adults and a 5-year-old boy. The agents discovered the sedan was equipped with a fake car battery. Inside that fake battery, agents found several pounds of heroin and fentanyl. The adults, both U.S. citizens, were arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling. The child – the son of one of the suspects – was picked up by his grandfather.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
This is what $96,117-worth of methamphetamine looks like. On July 12, 2019, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a woman at a checkpoint on westbound Interstate 8 in Campo, California, after they found 31 packages of meth hidden inside the gas tank of her Honda Accord. According to officials, the drugs weighed 41.79 pounds. The woman – a 39-year-old U.S. citizen – was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.
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Department of Justice
A member of a downtown Los Angeles street gang caught with $27,000 to $40,000 worth of methamphetamine packaged to resemble 14 foil-wrapped burritos in February 2018 was sentenced to 15 years behind bars for federal drug and gun crimes on July 8, 2019.
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On June 12, woman was arrested after U.S. Border Patrol agents found her child sitting on $100,000 worth of narcotics -- tucked inside the child’s car seat -- during a stop on Interstate 15. In total, the Border Patrol found 32.1 pounds of methamphetamine, 2.31 pounds of cocaine, and 4.55 pounds of heroin inside the car.
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Inside the car were three adults and three children. The 26-year-old mother was arrested, and the children were released into the custody of their aunt, who was also in the car. Agents announced the drug seizure and arrest on June 26.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On June 19, 2019, a U.S. Border Patrol K-9 working with agents at a checkpoint in Campo on Interstate 8 was directed to perform an inspection on a 2007 Volkswagen Jetta crossing the checkpoint. During that inspection, the K-9 sniffed out four bundles of cocaine hidden inside an aftermarket compartment in the car’s dashboard. The bundles weighed 9.88 pounds; the drugs had an estimated street value of $98,800, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The driver – a Mexican citizen who held a Border Crosser Card – was arrested on suspicion of smuggling.
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U.S. Border Patrol
Border Patrol agents inspected the SUV of a female U.S. citizen near the Aliso Creek rest area off I-5 and a K-9 search led agents to find 11 cellophane packages concealed the vehicle's rear differential. Three packages tested positive for fentanyl and eight tested positive for meth. The value of the narcotics was estimated at over $101,000.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On May 9, 2019, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at a checkpoint on westbound Interstate 8 in Campo, California, stopped a man driving a 2002 Nissan Altima after a K-9 officer sniffed out the vehicle and alerted agents. At secondary inspection, the K-9 indicated something suspicious near the gas tank. When agents searched the tank further, they discovered 53 cellophane packages floating inside. The packages held 58.60 pounds of methamphetamine; the drugs had an estimated street value of $134,780. The driver – a 47-year-old U.S. citizen – was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.
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CBP officers discovered 1,000 pounds of marijuana hidden in cargo boxes marked as "abrasive cutting wheels," at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry on Dec. 7, 2018. The marijuana carries an estimated street value of $625,000. The driver, a Mexican citizen, and his Visa cancelled and was placed in custody of the Department of Homeland Security.
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Customs and Border Protection officers stopped more than 580 pounds of methamphetamine and 69 pounds of cocaine, totaling $2.8 million, over one weekend. One man was found with 13 pounds of methamphetamine wrapped to his body, thigh, and ankle.
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On June 13, 2018, a French Citizen attempted to cross into the U.S. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry with $380,000 worth of methamphetamine hidden within the rear quarter panels of his SUV. CBP officers found 109 individually-wrapped packages totaling 115 pounds.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On March 3, 2018, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 86 checkpoint in Salton City, California, discovered nearly $500,000 worth of heroin and cocaine hidden in a secret compartment of a truck trying to cross the checkpoint. When the driver approached the checkpoint, a Border Patrol K-9 alerted agents to the bed of the pickup truck. Upon inspection, agents found five packages of drugs stuffed inside a compartment between the truck’s cab and bed. The packages contained 16.2 pounds of heroin worth about $226,800 and 20 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $260,000. The driver was arrested on suspicion of smuggling drugs.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Feb. 12, 2018, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 checkpoint in Salton City, California, discovered nearly 41 pounds of methamphetamine stashed in the rocker panels and underneath the back seat of a man’s Mercury Sable. As the man attempted to cross the checkpoint, a canine detection team alerted agents to the car.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
During a secondary inspection of the Mercury Sable, Border Patrol agents found 27 packages of meth stuffed inside the vehicle. The drugs were worth nearly $135,000. The driver, a U.S. citizen, was turned over to the DEA for suspicion of drug smuggling.rn
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Feb. 9, 2018, at around 10:45 a.m., U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 checkpoint in Salton City, California, stopped a driver and his three passengers in a Hyundai Elantra as they approached the checkpoint. During a secondary inspection, agents found one of the passengers had package strapped to his stomach. The 6.3-pound bundle was methamphetamine, worth approximately $20,790. The driver and the passenger were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for suspicion of drug smuggling.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Jan. 20, 2018, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 checkpoint discovered 15 vacuum-sealed, cellophane-wrapped packages of methamphetamine stashed inside the roof of a Jeep Grand Cherokee attempting to cross the checkpoint. Combines, the meth bundles weighed 18.33 pounds and were worth approximately $82,485. The driver of the Jeep, a 24-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested at the checkpoint on suspicion of smuggling drugs.
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U.S. Department of Justice
Two Ecuadorian nationals pleaded guilty in United States federal court Thursday to conspiring to bring drugs into to the United States on via a speedboat filled with cocaine.
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U.S. Department of Justice
The two men were crew members aboard a go-fast vessel caught in international waters more than 100 miles off the coast of the Guatemalan-El Salvadorian border, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Adam Braverman said. The boat was laded with about 2,160 pounds of cocaine.
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U.S. Department of Justice
Braverman said the two men pleaded guilty to charges of intent to distribute the drugs in the U.S. and will be sentenced in April.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Nov. 20, at around 11:30 p.m., U.S. Border Patrol agents working the El Centro Sector in Indio, California, discovered 10 packages of methamphetamine stashed in the spare tire of a Jeep occupied by two women and a child. The group was stopped by agents near Highway 86. While speaking with the driver, a Border Patrol K-9 alerted to the undercarriage of the Jeep. When agents searched the spare tire, they discovered the packages of meth, which weighed nearly 11.5 pounds combined. The drugs had an estimated street value of $39,900. The women were turned over to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of drug smuggling.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Nov. 15, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Highway 86 checkpoint in Salton City, California, discovered 10 small packages of methamphetamine taped to a teenager’s legs as she attempted to cross the checkpoint. The 17-year-old U.S. Citizen was a passenger in a Ford Focus carrying three others. At a secondary inspection, agents found the bundles of drugs taped to the teen. The meth weighed more than 4 pounds and had an estimated street value of $14,735.
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U.S. Department of Homeland Security
At San Ysidro Port of Entry, an 18-year-old Mexican woman was arrested after officers said they found 32 packages of meth hidden in the gas tank of her Ford Edge. The estimated street value was approximate $1.2 million, officers said.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Sept. 9, 2017, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at an immigration checkpoint in Niland, California, discovered 25 packages of methamphetamine stashed inside the gas tank of a Nissan Altima being driven by a 25-year-old U.S. Citizen.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
According to CBP, 73 packages of marijuana were found inside the false wall in the trailer at the Calexico east cargo facility.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border Patrol agents discovered 50 bundles of unreported currency inside the front doors and driver's side back door of a 2014 Nissan Versa on Aug. 1, 2017.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On July 25, 2017, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint in Salton City, California, discovered 26 packages of methamphetamine and cocaine stashed inside the spare tire of a man’s Ford Explorer. The man was attempting to pass the inspection point when agents stopped him for a secondary check of his SUV. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials, the bundles of meth weighed 20.51 pounds and had an estimated street value of $65,632. The packages of cocaine weighed 17.69 pounds, valued at $265,360. The man in the SUV was arrested on suspicion of smuggling drug. The CBP said spare tires are a common location for hiding drugs in the world of trafficking.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On July 7, a man and woman were arrested at the Highway 86 U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint after agents found drugs fentanyl and methamphetamine taped to their bodies.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border Patrol agents on I-5 arrested a man yesterday who had heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine hidden in his 2006 Chevrolet Equinox.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border Patrol agents find 200 pounds cocaine and meth in the gas tank of a commercial bus.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On June 8, at around 6 p.m., U.S. Border Patrol agents working the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint in Salton City, California, discovered more than 53 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in compartments in the floor of a Ford Focus sedan. Two people in their 20s were inside the car – a man and woman experiencing labor pains – both suspected of smuggling the drugs. The meth was distributed among 50 packages; combined, the bundles weighed 53.27 pounds and were worth $170,464.
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U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Hidden inside boxes of popcorn, CBP officers discovered 15 packages of methamphetamine weighing 150 pounds. The drugs hold a street value of more than $481,952. In addition to the meth stored inside popcorn boxes, CBP officers found narcotics inside the vehicle in various places such as the bumper, trunk, spare tire, quarter panel and floor.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On May 25, 2017, U.S. Border Patrol agents working the Highway 86 checkpoint in Salton City, California, discovered nearly 16 pounds of Mexican brown powder heroin stashed in the rocker panel compartments of a Chrysler Sebring attempting cross the checkpoint. The drugs were found in six packages concealed in the car. The heroin had an estimated street value of $150,575. The driver of the Chrysler Sebring was arrested on suspicion of smuggling drugs.
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U.S. Border Patrol
U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a man who is suspected of smuggling more than $100,000 worth of crystal methamphetamine on Sunday near San Clemente. The illegal drugs were hidden in a secret compartment built into the vehicle’s floorboards. Agents arrested the driver after finding 40 bundles of crystal methamphetamine.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On April 2, 2017, at around 9 p.m., U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley discovered 46 bundles of methamphetamine stashed in the engine compartment of an SUV being driver by a 19-year-old man.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
The smuggling suspect’s 2008 Nissan Armada was at a secondary inspection point when a K-9 alerted agents to the engine. A search of the vehicle revealed a non-factory compartment behind the front firewall on the passenger side. The bundles of meth hidden inside the compartment weighed nearly 47 pounds. The drugs were valued at $159,256. The young man was arrested on suspicion of narcotics smuggling and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. His name was not released.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On March 23, at around 11:30 p.m., U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the San Ysidro Port of Entry discovered 6,767 pills of oxycodone hidden inside the bumpers of a Honda Accord being drive by a U.S. Citizen. The pills were in a large package, stuffed inside the car’s front bumper, and had an estimated street value of $203,010, authorities said. The woman, a 24-year-old, was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling. During this same bust at the border, CBP agents also found 65 pounds of cocaine stashed in the front bumper of the car. The cocaine was found inside 24 packages and was estimated to be worth about $978,900 on the streets.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Feb. 6, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Highway 111 checkpoint discovered nearly 43 pounds of methamphetamine stashed inside a man’s Jeep Compass, in the firewall compartment of the engine. The driver was trying to pass through the checkpoint when a K-9 detection team alerted agents to the vehicle. As the vehicle passed to another inspection area and agents searched inside, they found 45 packages of meth hidden inside. The drugs weighed almost 43 pounds and had an estimated street value of $170,468. The driver was arrested on suspicion of smuggling drugs.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Feb. 3, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Highway 86 checkpoint stopped a 21-year-old man trying to pass the checkpoint in a Toyota Camry. When agents searched his car, they discovered hidden compartments in the floor. Inside the compartments, agents found 24 plastic-wrapped packages containing cocaine. The 56.54 pounds of cocaine had an estimated street value of $678,480. The driver was arrested on suspicion of smuggling; he was driving with his three minor stepchildren, ages 10, 7 and 6 at the time of the drug bust, officials said. The kids were turned over to Child Protective Services.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Jan. 24, 2017, U.S. Border Patrol agents in Salton City, California, discovered bundles of drugs worth nearly half-a-million dollars stashed inside a minivan driven by a suspected smuggler trying to cross the Highway 86 checkpoint. The drugs – 37.39 pounds of cocaine worth $454,800 on the streets and 9.24 pounds of methamphetamine worth $36,960 – were found hidden in the rear seat of the suspect’s silver 2000 Ford Windstar minivan.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
A K-9 team alerted to the minivan as it neared the inspection area at the checkpoint. Upon conducting a search, agents found 15 plastic-wrapped bundles of cocaine and three bundles of meth stashed in the vehicle.
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NBC 7
Border Patrol agents seized 61 bundles of narcotics from a man's car at the I-5 checkpoint in San Clemente on Dec. 8, 2016. Agents found about 73 pounds of methamphetamine and five pounds of hash, valued at $473,960.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Dec. 5, U.S. Border Patrol agents seized approximately 2,400 pounds of marijuana - worth an estimated $1.2 million - hidden in an abandoned recreational watercraft. The 25-foot Bayliner was found beached at Calafia State Park, near San Clemente. No people were on the boat or nearby at the time. Agents discovered 82 cellophane-wrapped bundles of marijuana in large bags throughout the boat. U.S. Border Patrol seized the marijuana and vessel.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Dec. 4, 2016, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents working the Highway 86 checkpoint discovered more than 25 pounds of methamphetamine stashed inside the rocker panels of a man’s 2011 Chevrolet Malibu sedan as he attempted to cross the checkpoint. The drugs – worth more than $80,000 – were wrapped in 20 plastic bundles inside the suspected smuggler’s car.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Nov. 2, 2016, Border Patrol agents at the Highway 86 checkpoint in Salton City, California, busted a smuggling suspect driving with 17 bundles of methamphetamine stuffed in the muffler of a 2004 Honda coupe.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
The drugs in the car’s exhaust system, discovered during a secondary inspection of the Honda at the checkpoint, weighed more than 13 pounds and had an estimated street value of $42,500, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents discovered nearly 3,100 pounds of marijuana disguised in a shipment of cucumbers at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016.
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U.S. Border Patrol
On Sept. 7, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol agents seized 13 high-powered firearms and arrested four Mexican nationals for possession of the weapons at a home in Oxnard, California. The cache of weapons in the Sept. 7, 2016, bust included 10 AR-15 assault rifles, one .50 caliber rifle, one shotgun, one semiautomatic center-fire rifle, numerous rounds of ammunition and $10,000 in illicit currency, the U.S. Border Patrol said.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more than $3 million in cash from two vehicles suspected of driving in tandem on Interstate 15.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Aug. 9, 2016 U.S. Border Patrol agents in Ocotillo, California arrested a woman on Highway S-2 on suspicion of smuggling methamphetamine. With the help of a K-9 team, agents discovered 40 packages of meth – wrapped in black electrical tape – hidden inside the rocker panels of the woman’s car as she attempted to pass a checkpoint. The meth weighed more than 52 pounds and was valued at $208,560.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On June 23, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol agents working in San Clemente discovered nearly seven pounds of cocaine stashed inside a fire extinguisher in a woman’s SUV as she tried to pass the checkpoint. A K-9 alerted agents to the fire extinguisher during a secondary inspection of the woman’s car. When agents picked up the fire extinguisher, they found it to feel unusually heavy. When agents opened the canister, they found cocaine hidden inside. The drugs were valued at $81,960. The woman, a Mexican national, was arrested on suspicion of smuggling.rn
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On June 11, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Otay Mesa cargo port of entry discovered 577 large packages of marijuana hidden inside a shipment of red stones carried in a truck attempting to cross the checkpoint.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
During an X-ray examination of the truck and its shipment, officers identified an anomaly and referred the truck to a secondary inspection. At a dock, a CBP officer with a K-9 screened the truck and the K-9 alerted to the stones inside the truck’s trailer. A CBP officer drilled a hole through one of the stones and extracted a leafy-green substance. Using sledge hammers and jack hammers to break the red stones, CBP officers found 1,619 pounds of pot hidden inside the stones. The drugs were valued at $810,000.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
“My officers not only need to enforce typical import and export laws, but also need to be vigilant for smuggling attempts like this,” Otay Mesa Cargo Port Director Rosa Hernandez said of the bizarre border bust.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Seven tons of marijuana were found stashed in a trailer attempting to cross the Otay Mesa cargo facility in south San Diego on April 28, 2016. The drugs had an estimated street value of $7.1 million.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Seven tons of marijuana were found stashed in a trailer attempting to cross the Otay Mesa cargo facility in south San Diego on April 28, 2016. The drugs had an estimated street value of $7.1 million.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On April 20, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Highway 86 checkpoint arrested a driver attempting to smuggle $81,000 worth of methamphetamine inside the spare tire of his car across the checkpoint. After a secondary inspection of the driver’s 2002 White Ford Explorer, agents discovered packages of meth hidden in the car’s spare tire. The drugs had a combined weight of more than nine pounds.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On March 14, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol agents discovered $214,020 worth of methamphetamine hidden inside the door panels of a Honda Accord attempting to pass the Highway 86 checkpoint. A canine first alerted agents to the vehicle. During a secondary inspection and search, agents found 23.78 pounds of meth stashed in the vehicle’s door panels. The driver of the Honda, a U.S. citizen, was arrested by DEA agents.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On March 1, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico East Port of Entry discovered an undocumented Brazilian man crammed into the modified compartment of an SUV's gas tank. The human smuggling attempt was thwarted when officers inspected the vehicle.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On March 1, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico East Port of Entry discovered an undocumented Brazilian man crammed into the modified compartment of an SUV's gas tank. The human smuggling attempt was thwarted when officers inspected the vehicle.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On March 1, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico East Port of Entry discovered an undocumented Brazilian man crammed into the modified compartment of an SUV's gas tank. The human smuggling attempt was thwarted when officers inspected the vehicle.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On March 1, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Highway 86 checkpoint in Southern California discovered $546,570 worth of methamphetamine hidden inside the seat cushions of a driver’s 2016 Toyota Avalon attempting to cross the checkpoint. After K-9s alerted to the vehicle, agents ran a search. Stashes inside the seat cushions, agents found 44 bundles of meth wrapped in brown tape. The drugs weighed a total of 60.73 pounds. The 33-year-old driver of the Avalon was taken into custody on suspicion of smuggling.rn
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Jan. 27, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the San Clemente Checkpoint discovered more than 38 pounds of crystal methamphetamine stuffed into 30 vacuum-sealed plastic bottles hidden in the gas tank of a Jeep Liberty attempting to cross the checkpoint. The meth found inside the SUV was detected through the use of a fiber-optic scope tool after a K-9 alerted agents to the undercarriage of the vehicle. The drugs had an estimated street value of $439,250. The 21-year-old U.S. citizen driving the Jeep was detained.rn
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Jan. 27, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the San Clemente Checkpoint discovered more than 38 pounds of crystal methamphetamine stuffed into 30 vacuum-sealed plastic bottles hidden in the gas tank of a Jeep Liberty attempting to cross the checkpoint. The meth found inside the SUV was detected through the use of a fiber-optic scope tool after a K-9 alerted agents to the undercarriage of the vehicle. The drugs had an estimated street value of $439,250. The 21-year-old U.S. citizen driving the Jeep was detained.rn
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Photos of the 16-year-old boy who allegedly tried to smuggle heroin across a Border Patrol checkpoint in Southern California on Dec. 9, 2015. The teen was wearing a spandex body suit, and the drugs were stashed inside the suit, agents said.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Dec. 3, 2015, U.S. Border Patrol agents on I-5 near the San Clemente checkpoint stopped two men inside a 2002 Isuzu Rodeo. A search of the car turned up 45 bundles of methamphetamine scattered throughout the vehicle. The drugs weighed 47 pounds and were worth about $470,000. rn rn
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Dec. 3, 2015, U.S. Border Patrol agents on I-5 near the San Clemente checkpoint stopped two men inside a 2002 Isuzu Rodeo. A search of the car turned up 45 bundles of methamphetamine scattered throughout the vehicle. The drugs weighed 47 pounds and were worth about $470,000. rn rn
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