San Clemente, California - San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents located more than 100 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside a pickup truck on Thursday afternoon.
The incident began at approximately 1:30 p.m. when agents on Interstate 5 (I-5) observed a suspicious blue Ford pickup driving northbound. Agents initiated a vehicle stop and the driver yielded at the I-5 Border Patrol checkpoint just south of San Clemente. While agents spoke with the male driver, their service K-9 conducted a sniff of the pickup and alerted to the rear of the truck.
Searching the vehicle, agents located a non-factory compartment built into the bed of the pickup. They pried open the compartment and discovered dozens of suspicious bundles, which tested positive for methamphetamine. Counting 73 bundles in all, the narcotics weighed 115.19 pounds and have an estimated street value of $207,342.
The driver, who was a 21-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested. He and the narcotics were later turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration with Federal prosecution pending. The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
“These poisonous drugs can wreak havoc on communities throughout America,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke. “Fortunately, our agents prevented that.”
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.