Pine Valley, Calif. — Today, Border Patrol agents working at the Border Patrol checkpoint in Pine Valley arrested a 43-year-old male Mexican national and a 57-year-old female Mexican national, both legally present in the U.S., for smuggling more than 10 pounds of cocaine.

Agents encountered the couple as they arrived at the checkpoint at approximately 8 a.m., driving a 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 truck. As agents questioned the driver, his inconsistent answers and nervous demeanor prompted agents to refer him to a secondary inspection area.

click for hi-res
Cocaine packages were hidden in the truck's oil pan.
Cocaine packages were hidden in the truck’s oil pan.

In the secondary inspection area, a Border Patrol K-9 team performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle resulting in a positive alert to the undercarriage. Agents noticed signs of recent tampering with the oil pan and dismantled it. An aftermarket compartment was discovered containing four packages of cocaine weighing 10.8 pounds with an estimated street value of $108,000.

Additionally, the K-9 team alerted to a bag inside the vehicle containing $400 and 5,100 Mexican Pesos, equivalent to approximately $422.69.

The suspected smuggler, his passenger, and the illicit drugs were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Dodge Ram 1500 and currency were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

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.

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