San Clemente, California - Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate 5 checkpoint seized more than $870,000 in cocaine Thursday, morning.

At approximately 10:45 a.m., Border Patrol agents performed an immigration inspection on the driver of a 2005 Buick Rendezvous SUV.  Initially, the 23-year-old man avoided eye contact and would not respond to the agent when questioned about his citizenship.  When asked about his citizenship again, the man just handed a U.S. passport to the agent.  The agent was suspicious that the man was an impostor and therefore referred him for a secondary inspection.

At the secondary inspection area, a K-9 sniff of the vehicle resulted in a positive alert.  Agents searched the SUV and discovered a total of 24 bundles of cocaine concealed inside the rear bumper of the vehicle.

The cocaine weighed a total of 67.57 pounds and has an estimated street value of $878,410.  The suspected smuggler and 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 demonstrate 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.