San Clemente, California - U.S. Border Patrol agents followed and arrested a man on Friday who fled the checkpoint in his car and refused to yield for nearly 30 minutes.
At approximately 9:45 a.m., agents at the I-5 checkpoint referred a 2014 Mazda sedan for a secondary inspection. The male driver appeared to comply, but then veered off and fled the checkpoint at a high rate of speed. Nearby agents followed with their lights and sirens activated. The driver refused to yield and continued to head north. He drove erratically, going on the shoulder and in the emergency lane to pass other vehicles.
The car exited at Basilone Road. The man ran a stop sign and made an illegal U-turn when he realized that he was headed for the Camp Pendleton security gate. He re-entered the freeway, driving south on I-5. The driver continued at a high rate of speed until the car blew a tire near Oceanside. He exited at Harbor Drive, drove to a nearby gas station, and fled into the convenience store. Two agents followed the driver and ordered the man to lie down on the store floor. The 29-year-old U.S. citizen initially refused, but then complied as additional agents arrived. Agents searched the man’s vehicle and found 247.93 pounds of marijuana inside the trunk. The narcotics are valued at $148,758.
A second arrest occurred yesterday at the I-5 checkpoint, when a 24-year-old Mexican national was referred to secondary inspection. The man lacked proper documentation and was charged with an immigration violation. In addition, a nearby K-9 performed a sniff of his 2000 Nissan Maxima, resulting in a positive alert. Agents searched the vehicle trunk and located 5.29 pounds of heroin and 17.20 pounds of methamphetamine inside a red bag. The narcotics are valued at $235,480.
Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration took custody of both suspects.
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.