San Clemente, California - Border Patrol agents arrested a U.S. citizen and two Mexican nationals yesterday during two separate drug smuggling events on Interstate 5.

At about 5:30 p.m., agents patrolling Interstate 5 approached two men in a 1996 Ford Mustang who were parked at a rest stop.  A K-9 sniff of their Mustang resulted in an alert and the 21-year-old Mexican national driver indicated that he had an empty container in the console that previously held marijuana.  The agents searched the car and found the empty container, but also found nine bundles of methamphetamine hidden inside the spare tire and eight additional bundles stashed inside a speaker box in the trunk.

The 17 bundles weighed 18.63 pounds and have an estimated street value of $186,300.  The two Mexican nationals were arrested and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.  The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

Earlier in the day, agents at the San Clemente checkpoint stopped two U.S. citizens in a 2006 Chevrolet Impala.  The 22-year-old male driver indicated they were coming from Oceanside.  Agents in primary detected the odor of marijuana inside the car and referred the man and his female passenger for a secondary inspection.  In secondary, a K-9 alerted to the trunk of the Impala and a search revealed a duffle bag with several pounds of marijuana inside.

The driver claimed ownership of the narcotics and he and the marijuana were turned over to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office.

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.