San Clemente, California - It’s been a busy week for the I-5 checkpoint with four drug seizures nearing the $2 million mark.  Last night, San Clemente agents seized half a million dollars in drugs.  Yesterday morning, the agents seized three-quarters of a million dollars worth of drugs.  This is after San Clemente agents arrested two men a week ago with $657K in meth, coke, and marijuana.

Last night’s incident occurred at approximately 10 p.m., when an 18-year-old U.S. citizen arrived at the San Clemente checkpoint in a 2001 Jeep Cherokee.  The man became confused by routine questions and twice recanted his story about who owned the Jeep vehicle.  The driver was referred for a secondary inspection where a K-9 sniff of the vehicle resulted in an alert.

Agents found 43.10 pounds of narcotics with an estimated street value of $495,270 inside the backrest of a passenger seat.

A search of the man’s Jeep revealed vacuum-sealed packages hidden inside the backrest of the rear passenger seat. Additional packages were found inside the front passenger seat.  A total of 26 bundles were confiscated.  One bundle was filled with heroin, eight bundles were filled with cocaine, and 17 bundles were filled with meth.  The narcotics weighed 43.10 pounds and have an estimated street value of $495,270.

The man was arrested and he and his narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.  The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

“These ongoing significant seizures by San Clemente Border Patrol agents demonstrates our aggressive pursuit of cartels who are attempting to push drugs into our communities and throughout the Nation,” said David BeMiller, Patrol Agent in Charge of the San Clemente Station.  “Utilizing checkpoints throughout San Diego Sector further enhances our ability to target illicit activity and keep communities safe.”

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.