U.S. Border Patrol agents along with DHS partners stopped four smuggling attempts during the past week, yielding drug seizures valued at more than $329,000 and the arrest of nine illegal aliens.
The first event occurred on Wed. June 5 at approximately 3:35 p.m., when Border Patrol agents on Interstate 5 stopped a 28-year-old U.S. citizen driving a 2012 Ford F-150 truck south of the San Clemente checkpoint.
Agents questioned the male driver and conducted an exterior search of the vehicle with a Border Patrol K-9, which resulted in an alert. Agents searched further and located several packages wrapped in cellophane inside the truck’s tool box.
The packages contained 66 pounds of methamphetamine and had an estimated street value of $153,870. The man and the narcotics were turned over the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for further investigation. The F-150 was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
During the vehicle stop, a canine sniff was conducted on the Sentra and resulted in an alert. Agents searched and discovered 21 cellophane-covered packages hidden in the trunk of the vehicle. The packages contained 14 pounds of methamphetamine and had an estimated street value of $33,810.
The third event occurred later that same day at approximately 1:30 p.m., when agents encountered a 31-year-old male Mexican national in a 2008 Kia Soul near San Clemente, Calif. on Interstate 5.
A K-9 sniff on the Kia resulted in an alert. Agents located 32 cellophane packages inside the spare tire of the vehicle. One package contained 1.20 pounds of heroin valued at $28,750 and 31 packages contained a total of 49 pounds of methamphetamine valued at $112,700.
And finally the fourth event occurred on Sunday June 9 at approximately 12:30 a.m., when a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) aircraft observed a pleasure craft operating without running lights cross the international boundary. An AMO marine unit made contact with the pleasure craft 22 nautical miles west of La Jolla and boarded the vessel at approximately 2:50 a.m.
Once aboard, AMO agents interviewed nine adult male passengers who stated they were attempting to enter the U.S. illegally. The occupants were detained, then taken to shore and turned over to U.S. Border Patrol agents. The agents identified two men in the group as the suspected human smugglers. Those two men face criminal smuggling charges.
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.