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.
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.