San Diego, California - U.S. Border Patrol agents with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized more than eight pounds of heroin, arrested three people in a fleeing vehicle, and arrested a convicted sex offender who illegally entered the U.S. over the weekend.

The first event occurred Friday at approximately 12 p.m., when a 2007 Cadillac CTS approached the Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley, Calif.  Agents sent the vehicle to secondary inspection for further investigation, which resulted in an alert from a Border Patrol canine.  Searching the vehicle, agents discovered four packages of heroin wrapped in plastic inside a fake battery.  The packages weighed 8.59 pounds and have an estimated street value of $89,700.

The heroin and the driver, a 23-year-old U.S. citizen, were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.  The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

The second event began Saturday at approximately 9:22 p.m. about one mile north of the U.S./Mexico International Boundary.  Nearby agents witnessed a person jump into the back seat of a Nissan Pathfinder that immediately took off.  Agents attempted to intercept the SUV, but the driver sped off at a high rate of speed.  The driver headed southbound on Interstate 5 towards the San Ysidro Port of Entry.  Due to safety concerns, agents terminated the pursuit and notified CBP officials at the port of entry.

At approximately 9:40 p.m., CBP officers notified agents that the vehicle had been located and stopped before it entered into Mexico.  Agents arrived on scene shortly after and confirmed that the vehicle was the one pursued earlier.  The Nissan Pathfinder had three people inside.  The driver was a 34-year-old U.S. citizen, the front passenger was a 43-year-old Mexican citizen, and the back passenger was a 29-year-old Honduran citizen.  All three were arrested and transported to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing.

The third event began Sunday at approximately 7:30 a.m., when agents were alerted to a group of four men who were concealing themselves in brush near the Tecate Port of Entry.  An agent responded to the area and located the four men.  After determining they were illegally present in the U.S., the four men were transported to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing.

A records check at the station revealed that one man in the group, a 63-year-old Mexican national, had an extensive criminal history which included several convictions for sexual assault and 12 years in prison.  The man is being held pending further criminal proceedings.

To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the Department of Homeland Security maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders.  To report suspicious land activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900. To report suspicious maritime activity along the California coast, please call 9-1-1 to be directed through the proper channels.