CBP U.S. Border Patrol Seizes $3.5 Million Drug Load at I-8 Checkpoint

Pine Valley, Calif. — U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley arrested a 25-year-old male, U.S. citizen, for attempting to smuggle more than 315 pounds of cocaine and 570 pounds of marijuana hidden in a tractor-trailer.

Agents found $3.5 million in drugs hidden behind this panel.
Agents found $3.5 million in drugs hidden behind this panel.

Agents encountered the man, a resident of Los Angeles, on Friday, at about 11:15 p.m., as he arrived at the checkpoint driving a 1998 Freightliner truck with a trailer. A Border Patrol canine team performed a cursory inspection of the truck which resulted in a positive alert to the trailer. The driver was then referred for a secondary inspection.

During secondary inspection, agents searched the front of the trailer and discovered a false wall made of metal and plywood. Behind the plywood, agents found 115 cellophane-wrapped bundles of cocaine with a total weight of 315.6 pounds and an estimated street value of $3,156,000. Agents also discovered eight metal boxes containing 570.2 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of $342,000.

The suspected smuggler and drugs were taken into custody and subsequently turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Freightliner truck and trailer 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. Since Oct.1, 2010, San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents have seized more than 62,000 pounds of marijuana and 1,270 pounds of cocaine.

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