Step-Dad Accused of Smuggling Cocaine With 3 Kids in Car

Three children were riding in a car with more than $680,000 in cocaine hidden inside, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents said Monday.

The car, driven by a 21-year-old U.S. citizen, was stopped Friday a checkpoint along Highway 86 near Salton City, officials said.

Agents say the driver’s three step children were in the Toyota Camry. Their ages are 10, 7 and 6.

After a drug-sniffing dog alerted to the car from the outside, officials moved the Toyota over to secondary inspection.

That’s where they allegedly found 24 plastic wrapped packages holding cocaine hidden in secret compartments inside the car.

The drugs weighed more than 56 pounds and were estimated to be worth $678,480, according to the El Centro Sector Border Station.

The man was arrested, the vehicle seized and the children turned over to Imperial County Child Protective Services.

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