From the daily archives: Friday, January 21, 2011

acumba, Calif. — U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a male U.S. citizen and a female Mexican national in Jacumba on Friday afternoon for smuggling more than 65 pounds of cocaine and crystal methamphetamine in a hidden compartment in the bed of a Dodge pickup.

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The tire’s wheel well was the access point to the hidden compartment.
The tire’s wheel well was the access point to the hidden compartment.

Agents on patrol near Jacumba had noticed a 2000 Dodge Dakota with two occupants being driven in an erratic and suspicious manner. At about 2:30 p.m., agents approached the occupants of the truck to conduct an immigration inspection after the Dakota exited the eastbound lanes of Interstate 8 and stopped at a gas station.

During questioning, agents became suspicious of the nervous demeanor of the 35-year-old male driver and his 44-year-old resident alien passenger. Agents were granted permission to search the truck and performed a cursory inspection which revealed a non-factory compartment in the bed which was accessible through a panel in the driver-side rear wheel well. Agents opened the panel and found numerous cellophane wrapped bundles inside the compartment.

The man and woman, residents of National City, were arrested and transported with the Dakota to a nearby Border Patrol station where agents removed 20 bundles of cocaine and five bundles of crystal methamphetamine from the truck. The cocaine weighed 53.33 pounds with an estimated street value of $533,000 and the crystal methamphetamine weighed 11.9 pounds with an estimated street value of $214,000.

The suspected drug smugglers and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

To prevent illicit smuggling of humans, drugs and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on major corridors of egress away from our nation’s borders.

 

Border Patrol agents from the Yuma sector seized 25.1 pounds of cocaine and arrested one suspected smuggler on Friday.

Border Patrol agents assigned to operate the Wellton Station checkpoint on Interstate 8 referred a beige 2000 Plymouth Neon sedan to secondary inspection following a canine team alert. While in secondary, the driver, a U.S citizen, consented to a search of the vehicle. Agents performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle and located a small amount of marijuana. Agents continued to search the vehicle and located 9 bundles of cocaine hidden inside the rear corner panels of the vehicle.

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Agents found cocaine hidden in the car's rear paneling.
Agents found cocaine hidden in the car’s rear paneling.

The cocaine, with an estimated street value of $1,275,080, and suspect, were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The vehicle was seized by the Border Patrol.

To report suspicious activity, contact the Yuma Sector Border Patrol’s toll free telephone number at 1-866-999-8727.

 
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