San Clemente, California - Border Patrol agents assigned to the I-5 checkpoint intercepted two vehicles yesterday with 23 pounds of drugs worth approximately $160,000 and a variety of drug products geared towards children.
At approximately 1 a.m., two men arrived at the checkpoint driving a 2012 Chrysler 200 sedan. Agents referred the driver to secondary inspection. Agents in secondary questioned the 28-year-old U.S. driver and his 18-year-old U.S. passenger. The passenger admitted he had medical marijuana inside a prescription bottle.
Agents received permission to search the vehicle and subsequently located three sealed boxes in the trunk of the vehicle containing lollipops, hard candy, and cookies laced with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Agents also located 15 marijuana e-cigarette cartridges, three marijuana cigars, and 12.68 pounds of bulk marijuana inside the vehicle. The two men were arrested.
Around 4 p.m., agents encountered a 24-year-old U.S. citizen driving a 1999 Volkswagen Golf who was referred for a secondary inspection. The man had difficulty answering questions and a canine sniff resulted in an alert. The vehicle was referred to nearby California National Guard members, who operate a non-intrusive, imaging-detection system. The system revealed anomalies within the rear seats of the vehicle. Agents inspected the car seats and discovered an electronically controlled, non-factory compartment containing eight wrapped bundles. Six bundles tested positive for methamphetamine and two bundles tested positive for cocaine. The driver was arrested.
The suspects and narcotics in both instances were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration and face drug-smuggling charges. The vehicles were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on major 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.