San Diego’s Border Busts

Images of smuggling attempts at their finest.

155 photos
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U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a woman near Oceanside who, along with her 7-year-old child, had more than 48 pounds of methamphetamine inside her vehicle. On Dec. 3, border agents who were on routine patrol near the Oceanside Harbor exit on Interstate 5, pulled over a black Kia Forte after they believed the driver’s behavior became suspicious. Inside the trunk agents discovered a duffel bag with 20 bundles of methamphetamine, valued at $92,986. The driver was a 26-year-old Mexican national with a valid B1/B2 tourist visa. She was placed under arrest and faces charges for felony drug trafficking. The minor child with her was placed with local child protective services.
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U.S. Border Patrol
U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a teen near the San Diego-Tijuana border after officials claimed the boy used a remote-controlled car to smuggle $100,000 worth of meth into the country.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Fourteen people were arrested a little after midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 26, entering San Diego waters in a camouflaged boat, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said. Agents first noticed the boat near the international marine boundary line and then intercepted it about 8 miles west of Mission Bay. All 14 passengers were Mexican nationals, including two men charged with alien smuggling, CBP said.
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U.S. Border Patrol
The 16-year-old U.S. citizen was first spotted by agents at around 12:30 a.m. Sunday near the secondary border wall, according to Border Patrol.
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U.S. Border Patrol
Border Patrol seized two duffel bags from the teen which held more than 55 pounds of methamphetamine and a remote-controlled car. Agents valued the meth at $106,096.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Nov. 13, 2019, U.S. Border Patrol Agents arrested a man near Temecula who had cocaine bundles in his car. The bundles weighed 10.77 pounds and have an estimated street value of $110,000. The 29-year-old driver who is a U.S. citizen was arrested.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Nov. 5, 2019, U.S. Border Patrol agents working the checkpoint along westbound Interstate 8 in Pine Valley discovered more than 38 pounds of crystal methamphetamine stashed inside the gas tank of a 2008 Nissan Altima trying to cross the checkpoint. A K-9 alerted agents to the vehicle as the driver approached. During a secondary inspection, Border Patrol agents found 32 plastic-wrapped bundles of drugs inside the gas tank. The crystal meth had an estimated street value of nearly $73,000. The driver, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested on suspicion of smuggling.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
CBP at a border port of entry found 527 pounds of marijuana covered in jalapeño wrapping paper hidden among a shipment of actual jalapeños. The driver arrived around 7 p.m. on Oct. 25, driving a tractor with an attached trailer full of what appeared to be mixed produce. CBP officers found 100 large wrapped packages weighing 527 pounds, with an estimated street value of $211,000 after a K-9 team detected the packages. The driver was a 28-year-old man of Mexican citizenship.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border Patrol agents pulled over a 1997 Chevrolet pickup truck after observing it weaving in and out of lanes on Interstate 5 near Camino de Estrella on Oct. 22, 2019, at around 3 a.m. While conducting a safety check, the agents grew suspicious of the driver's behavior and requested a K-9 team, CBP said in a press release. The K-9 alerted agents to the truck's engine compartment where they found four packages of brown heroin stashed inside the truck's air intake box. The bundles weighed 4.85 pounds and had an estimated street value of $127,200. The driver, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen, was placed under arrest and will face charges for felony drug trafficking.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border patrol agents pulled over a woman, 25, with her 6-year-old son in a 1999 Ford Expedition at an Interstate 8 checkpoint on Oct. 1, 2019. A K-9 dog alerted agents who found 67.68 pounds of crystal methamphetamine inside the spare tire as well as inside rear door compartments. The 65 bundles are valued at $179,352. Agents arrested the woman, a Mexican national, and placed her child with Child Protective Services.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border patrol agents pulled over a woman, 25, with her 6-year-old son in a 1999 Ford Expedition at an Interstate 8 checkpoint on Oct. 1, 2019. A K-9 dog alerted agents who found 67.68 pounds of crystal methamphetamine in compartments towards the rear of the car. The 65 bundles are valued at $179,352. Agents arrested the woman and placed the child with Child Protective Services.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border patrol agents pulled over a woman, 25, with her 6-year-old son in a 1999 Ford Expedition at an Interstate 8 checkpoint on Oct. 1, 2019. A K-9 dog alerted agents who found 67.68 pounds of crystal methamphetamine in compartments towards the rear of the car. The 65 bundles are valued at $179,352. Agents arrested the woman and placed the child with Child Protective Services.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border Patrol agents pulled over a 2008 Saturn Aura at an Interstate 8 checkpoint on Sept. 28, 2019, at around 12 p.m. A K-9 discovered 29.28 pounds of crystal methamphetamine hidden in a compartment above the gas tank. The narcotics are valued at $67,344. Two women, both 19 years old and U.S. citizens, were arrested.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Sept. 3, 2019, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the Pine Valley checkpoint on westbound Interstate 8 ran an inspection on a man’s 2010 Ford Focus as it entered the checkpoint. A K-9 alerted agents to the backseat of the car. Agents hoisted the car onto a hydraulic lift. While looking deeper into the car, they found 20 plastic-wrapped bundles of crystal methamphetamine floating inside the gas tank. The bundles weighed more than 26 pounds; the drugs had an estimated street value of $60,260. The driver – a 29-year-old Mexican national – was arrested on suspicion of drug charges.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Aug. 7, 2019, San Diego U.S. Border Patrol agents stopped a sedan carrying two adults and a 5-year-old boy. The agents discovered the sedan was equipped with a fake car battery. Inside that fake battery, agents found several pounds of heroin and fentanyl. The adults, both U.S. citizens, were arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling. The child – the son of one of the suspects – was picked up by his grandfather.
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Border Patrol agents arrested a 41-year-old Mexican national at the Pine Valley checkpoint on July 30, 2019, after they discovered 38 bundles of methamphetamine hidden in his car's gas tank. The bundles weighed about 44 pounds and carry a street value estimated at $102,000
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
This is what $96,117-worth of methamphetamine looks like. On July 12, 2019, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a woman at a checkpoint on westbound Interstate 8 in Campo, California, after they found 31 packages of meth hidden inside the gas tank of her Honda Accord. According to officials, the drugs weighed 41.79 pounds. The woman – a 39-year-old U.S. citizen – was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.
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Department of Justice
A member of a downtown Los Angeles street gang caught with $27,000 to $40,000 worth of methamphetamine packaged to resemble 14 foil-wrapped burritos in February 2018 was sentenced to 15 years behind bars for federal drug and gun crimes on July 8, 2019.
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On June 12, woman was arrested after U.S. Border Patrol agents found her child sitting on $100,000 worth of narcotics -- tucked inside the child’s car seat -- during a stop on Interstate 15. In total, the Border Patrol found 32.1 pounds of methamphetamine, 2.31 pounds of cocaine, and 4.55 pounds of heroin inside the car.
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Inside the car were three adults and three children. The 26-year-old mother was arrested, and the children were released into the custody of their aunt, who was also in the car. Agents announced the drug seizure and arrest on June 26.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On June 19, 2019, a U.S. Border Patrol K-9 working with agents at a checkpoint in Campo on Interstate 8 was directed to perform an inspection on a 2007 Volkswagen Jetta crossing the checkpoint. During that inspection, the K-9 sniffed out four bundles of cocaine hidden inside an aftermarket compartment in the car’s dashboard. The bundles weighed 9.88 pounds; the drugs had an estimated street value of $98,800, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The driver – a Mexican citizen who held a Border Crosser Card – was arrested on suspicion of smuggling.
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U.S. Border Patrol
Border Patrol agents inspected the SUV of a female U.S. citizen near the Aliso Creek rest area off I-5 and a K-9 search led agents to find 11 cellophane packages concealed the vehicle's rear differential. Three packages tested positive for fentanyl and eight tested positive for meth. The value of the narcotics was estimated at over $101,000.
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On May 9, 2019, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at a checkpoint on westbound Interstate 8 in Campo, California, stopped a man driving a 2002 Nissan Altima after a K-9 officer sniffed out the vehicle and alerted agents. At secondary inspection, the K-9 indicated something suspicious near the gas tank. When agents searched the tank further, they discovered 53 cellophane packages floating inside. The packages held 58.60 pounds of methamphetamine; the drugs had an estimated street value of $134,780. The driver – a 47-year-old U.S. citizen – was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On May 9, 2019, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at a checkpoint on westbound Interstate 8 in Campo, California, stopped a man driving a 2002 Nissan Altima after a K-9 officer sniffed out the vehicle and alerted agents. At secondary inspection, the K-9 indicated something suspicious near the gas tank. When agents searched the tank further, they discovered 53 cellophane packages floating inside. The packages held 58.60 pounds of methamphetamine; the drugs had an estimated street value of $134,780. The driver – a 47-year-old U.S. citizen – was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.
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On Feb. 15, 2019, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 checkpoint in Salton City, California, discovered more than 10 pounds of methamphetamine stashed inside luggage on a passenger bus crossing the checkpoint. The luggage belonged to two females from Mexico, ages 16 and 19, suspected of smuggling the drugs into the U.S. Officials said the duffel bags were left in an overhead bin compartment after the bus underwent secondary inspection. Inside, agents found 31 small, cellophane-wrapped packages of meth weighed a combined 10.4 pounds. The drugs had an estimated street value of $27,560.
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Several Federal agencies joined forces to intercept a 1.7-ton load of meth, cocaine and heroin on its way to Australia from the Long Beach Seaport. The drugs were concealed in a shipment of loudspeakers. Four Australian citizens and two U.S. citizens were arrested involved with a suspected U.S.-based transnational crime syndicate were arrested.
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CBP officers discovered 1,000 pounds of marijuana hidden in cargo boxes marked as "abrasive cutting wheels," at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry on Dec. 7, 2018. The marijuana carries an estimated street value of $625,000. The driver, a Mexican citizen, and his Visa cancelled and was placed in custody of the Department of Homeland Security.
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Border Patrol agents stationed at the Indio checkpoint found 25 individually-wrapped bundles of methamphetamine hidden in the dashboard of a 23-year-old's Hyundai. The bundles had a combined weight of 27.5 pounds with an estimated street value of $55,000.
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Border Patrol agents seized 38.58 pounds of meth at the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint just after midnight Monday morning. Thirty-five vacuum-sealed bags were found in the vehicle's gas tank. The drugs have an estimated street value of $102,237. Teh 26-year-old driver was arrested.
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Border patrol agents arrested a man Wednesday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry who attempted to smuggle 5 pounds of heroin taped to his body into the United States, Customs and Border Protection said.
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The two drug packages were discovered when the 60-year-old U.S. citizen was patted down. The drugs, with an estimated street value of $57,000, were seized.
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A 19-year-old U.S. citizen living in Tijuana, Mexico, was arrested at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on Wednesday and charged with trying to smuggle 11,490 fentanyl pills, 61 pounds of meth and 14 pounds of heroin that were hidden in secret compartments in his vehicle.
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Customs and Border Protection officers stopped more than 580 pounds of methamphetamine and 69 pounds of cocaine, totaling $2.8 million, over one weekend. One man was found with 13 pounds of methamphetamine wrapped to his body, thigh, and ankle.
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Customs and Border Protection officers at the Indio Station arrested a 28-year-old driver accused of trying to smuggle 2.23 pounds of opium paste, worth an estimated $71,360, taped to his buttocks.
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On July 1, 2018, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents seized 43.16 pounds of methamphetamine at the Highway 86 checkpoint. The 49 packages were concealed inside the Jeep's firewall and are worth an estimated street value of $142,428. Agents arrested a 33-year-old Mexican national in the incident.
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On June 13, 2018, a French Citizen attempted to cross into the U.S. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry with $380,000 worth of methamphetamine hidden within the rear quarter panels of his SUV. CBP officers found 109 individually-wrapped packages totaling 115 pounds.
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On Tuesday, Mar. 27, a CBP officer at the San Ysidro Pedestrian West border crossing was conducting inspections at the primary booth when he noticed something concealed on a 16-year-old male U.S. citizen's back. CBP officers searched the teen and discovered two packages of fentanyl weighing a total of five pounds, carrying an estimated street value of $150,000. The teen was arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.
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On Mar. 29, a 17-year-old girl driving a red Volkswagon Beetle approached a designated SENTRI booth at the San Ysidro Port of Entry for inspection. CBP officers noticed some discrepancies during the inspection and referred the vehicle and occupant for a more in-depth examination. The port's advanced imaging system discovered eight packages of fentanyl and seven packages of cocaine, totaling 37 pounds and carrying an estimated street value of $770,000. The teen was arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On March 3, 2018, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 86 checkpoint in Salton City, California, discovered nearly $500,000 worth of heroin and cocaine hidden in a secret compartment of a truck trying to cross the checkpoint. When the driver approached the checkpoint, a Border Patrol K-9 alerted agents to the bed of the pickup truck. Upon inspection, agents found five packages of drugs stuffed inside a compartment between the truck’s cab and bed. The packages contained 16.2 pounds of heroin worth about $226,800 and 20 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $260,000. The driver was arrested on suspicion of smuggling drugs.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Feb. 12, 2018, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 checkpoint in Salton City, California, discovered nearly 41 pounds of methamphetamine stashed in the rocker panels and underneath the back seat of a man’s Mercury Sable. As the man attempted to cross the checkpoint, a canine detection team alerted agents to the car.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
During a secondary inspection of the Mercury Sable, Border Patrol agents found 27 packages of meth stuffed inside the vehicle. The drugs were worth nearly $135,000. The driver, a U.S. citizen, was turned over to the DEA for suspicion of drug smuggling.rn
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Feb. 9, 2018, at around 10:45 a.m., U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 checkpoint in Salton City, California, stopped a driver and his three passengers in a Hyundai Elantra as they approached the checkpoint. During a secondary inspection, agents found one of the passengers had package strapped to his stomach. The 6.3-pound bundle was methamphetamine, worth approximately $20,790. The driver and the passenger were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for suspicion of drug smuggling.
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On Feb. 9, 2018, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 checkpoint in Salton City, California, stopped a man and woman in a Saturn Outlook as they attempted to cross the checkpoint. A canine alerted agents to the vehicle and, during a thorough search, agents discovered nine packages of cocaine stuffed inside a compartment in the frame of the car. The drugs weighed 37 pounds and were valued at $481,000. Both suspects, who are U.S. citizens, were arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Jan. 20, 2018, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 checkpoint discovered 15 vacuum-sealed, cellophane-wrapped packages of methamphetamine stashed inside the roof of a Jeep Grand Cherokee attempting to cross the checkpoint. Combines, the meth bundles weighed 18.33 pounds and were worth approximately $82,485. The driver of the Jeep, a 24-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested at the checkpoint on suspicion of smuggling drugs.
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U.S. Department of Justice
Two Ecuadorian nationals pleaded guilty in United States federal court Thursday to conspiring to bring drugs into to the United States on via a speedboat filled with cocaine.
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U.S. Department of Justice
The two men were crew members aboard a go-fast vessel caught in international waters more than 100 miles off the coast of the Guatemalan-El Salvadorian border, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Adam Braverman said. The boat was laded with about 2,160 pounds of cocaine.
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U.S. Department of Justice
Braverman said the two men pleaded guilty to charges of intent to distribute the drugs in the U.S. and will be sentenced in April.
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Over a 24-hour period Wednesday, CBP seized more than 12,000 pounds of narcotics valued at more than $9.1 million at ports of entry along California's border with Mexico, CBP said Thursday.
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Early Wednesday, CBP agents at the San Ysidro port of entry examined a 1998 Honda Civic with a canine and discovered 144 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in the spare tire, quarter panels and seats of the vehicle.
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The 144 pounds of drugs worth an estimated $504,000 was seized at the border.
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The 30-year-old U.S. citizen driving the Honda was arrested and turned over to Homeland Security.
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A few hours later, a cargo trailer was examined as it entered the Otay Mesa Cargo facility. Inside, boxes were opened and agents found large wrapped packages filled with marijuana. CBP officers extracted a total of 472 packages worth an estimated $6.7 million.
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Later that same day, an 18-year-old man driving a 1998 Saturn entered the Otay Mesa port of Entry when a detector dog alerted CBP agents. The officers noticed a discrepancy in the heater core (pictured above). Inside, they found 10 packages of meth and four packages of fentanyl worth an estimated $469,000.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Nov. 20, at around 11:30 p.m., U.S. Border Patrol agents working the El Centro Sector in Indio, California, discovered 10 packages of methamphetamine stashed in the spare tire of a Jeep occupied by two women and a child. The group was stopped by agents near Highway 86. While speaking with the driver, a Border Patrol K-9 alerted to the undercarriage of the Jeep. When agents searched the spare tire, they discovered the packages of meth, which weighed nearly 11.5 pounds combined. The drugs had an estimated street value of $39,900. The women were turned over to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of drug smuggling.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Nov. 15, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Highway 86 checkpoint in Salton City, California, discovered 10 small packages of methamphetamine taped to a teenager’s legs as she attempted to cross the checkpoint. The 17-year-old U.S. Citizen was a passenger in a Ford Focus carrying three others. At a secondary inspection, agents found the bundles of drugs taped to the teen. The meth weighed more than 4 pounds and had an estimated street value of $14,735.
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U.S. Department of Homeland Security
At San Ysidro Port of Entry, an 18-year-old Mexican woman was arrested after officers said they found 32 packages of meth hidden in the gas tank of her Ford Edge. The estimated street value was approximate $1.2 million, officers said.
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A 35-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe was arrested on October 12, 2017 after US CBP officers said they found methamphetamine conceiled inside the gas tank of the SUV.
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The street value of the 52 pounds of meth was estimated to be $130,000.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Sept. 9, 2017, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at an immigration checkpoint in Niland, California, discovered 25 packages of methamphetamine stashed inside the gas tank of a Nissan Altima being driven by a 25-year-old U.S. Citizen.
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The packages weighed more than 27 pounds and had an estimated street value of $96,740. The driver was arrested on suspicion of smuggling drugs. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said gas tanks are one of many hiding places in cars favored by smugglers.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
According to CBP, 73 packages of marijuana were found inside the false wall in the trailer at the Calexico east cargo facility.
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According to CBP, 73 packages of marijuana were found inside the false wall in the trailer at the Calexico east cargo facility.
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Border Patrol agents found 28 packages of narcotics inside the spare tire of a 2007 Nissan Titan at the Otay Mesa port of entry on Aug. 1, 2017.
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nBorder Patrol agents found 28 packages of narcotics inside the spare tire of a 2007 Nissan Titan at the Otay Mesa port of entry on Aug. 1, 2017.
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Border Patrol agents found 28 packages of narcotics inside the spare tire of a 2007 Nissan Titan at the Otay Mesa port of entry on Aug. 1, 2017.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border Patrol agents discovered 50 bundles of unreported currency inside the front doors and driver's side back door of a 2014 Nissan Versa on Aug. 1, 2017.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On July 25, 2017, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint in Salton City, California, discovered 26 packages of methamphetamine and cocaine stashed inside the spare tire of a man’s Ford Explorer. The man was attempting to pass the inspection point when agents stopped him for a secondary check of his SUV. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials, the bundles of meth weighed 20.51 pounds and had an estimated street value of $65,632. The packages of cocaine weighed 17.69 pounds, valued at $265,360. The man in the SUV was arrested on suspicion of smuggling drug. The CBP said spare tires are a common location for hiding drugs in the world of trafficking.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On July 7, a man and woman were arrested at the Highway 86 U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint after agents found drugs fentanyl and methamphetamine taped to their bodies.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border Patrol agents on I-5 arrested a man yesterday who had heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine hidden in his 2006 Chevrolet Equinox.
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The narcotics were hidden inside the SUV's door panels.
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The 41 bundles are worth an estimated $560,334.
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Border Patrol agents find 200 pounds of meth and cocaine in the gas tank of a commercial bus on Sunday, July 25, 2017.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border Patrol agents find 200 pounds cocaine and meth in the gas tank of a commercial bus.
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Border Patrol agents in Temecula initiated a vehicle stop on a 2014 Ford Focus that was filled with narcotics on June 27, 2017.
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Agents discovered bundles of methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine throughout the sedan.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On June 8, at around 6 p.m., U.S. Border Patrol agents working the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint in Salton City, California, discovered more than 53 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in compartments in the floor of a Ford Focus sedan. Two people in their 20s were inside the car – a man and woman experiencing labor pains – both suspected of smuggling the drugs. The meth was distributed among 50 packages; combined, the bundles weighed 53.27 pounds and were worth $170,464.
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On June 2 - June 4 in 2017, CBP officers seized $3.9 million in drugs, including 150 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside popcorn boxes.
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U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Hidden inside boxes of popcorn, CBP officers discovered 15 packages of methamphetamine weighing 150 pounds. The drugs hold a street value of more than $481,952.
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In addition to the meth stored inside popcorn boxes, CBP officers found narcotics inside the vehicle in various places such as the bumper, trunk, spare tire, quarter panel and floor.
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On May 25, 2017, U.S. Border Patrol agents working the Highway 86 checkpoint in Salton City, California, discovered nearly 16 pounds of Mexican brown powder heroin stashed in the rocker panel compartments of a Chrysler Sebring attempting cross the checkpoint.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
The drugs were found in six packages concealed in the car.
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The heroin had an estimated street value of $150,575. The driver of the Chrysler Sebring was arrested on suspicion of smuggling drugs.
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U.S. Border Patrol
U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a man who is suspected of smuggling more than $100,000 worth of crystal methamphetamine on Sunday near San Clemente. The illegal drugs were hidden in a secret compartment built into the vehicle’s floorboards. Agents arrested the driver after finding 40 bundles of crystal methamphetamine.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, with the help of drug-sniffing dogs, seized 8 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in a child car seat at the Otay Mesa port of entry. The drugs carry a street value estimated at $27,000.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, with the help of drug-sniffing dogs, seized 8 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in a child car seat at the Otay Mesa port of entry. The drugs carry a street value estimated at $27,000.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On April 2, 2017, at around 9 p.m., U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley discovered 46 bundles of methamphetamine stashed in the engine compartment of an SUV being driver by a 19-year-old man.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
The smuggling suspect’s 2008 Nissan Armada was at a secondary inspection point when a K-9 alerted agents to the engine. A search of the vehicle revealed a non-factory compartment behind the front firewall on the passenger side. The bundles of meth hidden inside the compartment weighed nearly 47 pounds.
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The drugs were valued at $159,256. The young man was arrested on suspicion of narcotics smuggling and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. His name was not released.
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On March 23, at around 11:30 p.m., U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the San Ysidro Port of Entry discovered 6,767 pills of oxycodone hidden inside the bumpers of a Honda Accord being drive by a U.S. Citizen. The pills were in a large package, stuffed inside the car’s front bumper, and had an estimated street value of $203,010, authorities said. The woman, a 24-year-old, was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
During this same bust at the border, CBP agents also found 65 pounds of cocaine stashed in the front bumper of the car. The cocaine was found inside 24 packages and was estimated to be worth about $978,900 on the streets.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Feb. 6, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Highway 111 checkpoint discovered nearly 43 pounds of methamphetamine stashed inside a man’s Jeep Compass, in the firewall compartment of the engine. The driver was trying to pass through the checkpoint when a K-9 detection team alerted agents to the vehicle. As the vehicle passed to another inspection area and agents searched inside, they found 45 packages of meth hidden inside. The drugs weighed almost 43 pounds and had an estimated street value of $170,468. The driver was arrested on suspicion of smuggling drugs.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Feb. 3, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Highway 86 checkpoint stopped a 21-year-old man trying to pass the checkpoint in a Toyota Camry. When agents searched his car, they discovered hidden compartments in the floor. Inside the compartments, agents found 24 plastic-wrapped packages containing cocaine. The 56.54 pounds of cocaine had an estimated street value of $678,480. The driver was arrested on suspicion of smuggling; he was driving with his three minor stepchildren, ages 10, 7 and 6 at the time of the drug bust, officials said. The kids were turned over to Child Protective Services.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 1,192 pounds of marijuana from a pleasure boat docked at Shelter Island on Monday, February 6, 2017.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 1,192 pounds of marijuana from a pleasure boat docked at Shelter Island on Monday, February 6, 2017.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 1,192 pounds of marijuana from a pleasure boat docked at Shelter Island on Monday, February 6, 2017.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 1,192 pounds of marijuana from a pleasure boat docked at Shelter Island on Monday, February 6, 2017.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Jan. 24, 2017, U.S. Border Patrol agents in Salton City, California, discovered bundles of drugs worth nearly half-a-million dollars stashed inside a minivan driven by a suspected smuggler trying to cross the Highway 86 checkpoint. The drugs – 37.39 pounds of cocaine worth $454,800 on the streets and 9.24 pounds of methamphetamine worth $36,960 – were found hidden in the rear seat of the suspect’s silver 2000 Ford Windstar minivan.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
A K-9 team alerted to the minivan as it neared the inspection area at the checkpoint. Upon conducting a search, agents found 15 plastic-wrapped bundles of cocaine and three bundles of meth stashed in the vehicle.
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NBC 7
Border Patrol agents seized 61 bundles of narcotics from a man's car at the I-5 checkpoint in San Clemente on Dec. 8, 2016. Agents found about 73 pounds of methamphetamine and five pounds of hash, valued at $473,960.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Dec. 5, U.S. Border Patrol agents seized approximately 2,400 pounds of marijuana - worth an estimated $1.2 million - hidden in an abandoned recreational watercraft. The 25-foot Bayliner was found beached at Calafia State Park, near San Clemente. No people were on the boat or nearby at the time. Agents discovered 82 cellophane-wrapped bundles of marijuana in large bags throughout the boat. U.S. Border Patrol seized the marijuana and vessel.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Dec. 4, 2016, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents working the Highway 86 checkpoint discovered more than 25 pounds of methamphetamine stashed inside the rocker panels of a man’s 2011 Chevrolet Malibu sedan as he attempted to cross the checkpoint.
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The drugs – worth more than $80,000 – were wrapped in 20 plastic bundles inside the suspected smuggler’s car.
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Border Patrol agents discovered 8.12 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $32,496 in a discarded backpack in downtown Calexico early Monday. The case started when an agent tried spotted a man making an illegal entry into the U.S. by climbing over the border fence. The agent chased him, but lost sight of him. That's when the agent found the discarded backpack with the loot.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Nov. 2, 2016, Border Patrol agents at the Highway 86 checkpoint in Salton City, California, busted a smuggling suspect driving with 17 bundles of methamphetamine stuffed in the muffler of a 2004 Honda coupe.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
The drugs in the car’s exhaust system, discovered during a secondary inspection of the Honda at the checkpoint, weighed more than 13 pounds and had an estimated street value of $42,500, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said.
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Images from the U.S. Border Patrol shows one of its most recent seizures - close to $1 million in cocaine found hidden in the axles of two trucks.
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Two people were arrested for narcotics smuggling after a Border Patrol K-9 sniffed out drugs hidden behind the rear door panels Nissan Altima stopped at an Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley.
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Two people were arrested for narcotics smuggling after a Border Patrol K-9 sniffed out drugs hidden behind the rear door panels Nissan Altima stopped at an Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley.
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Two people were arrested for narcotics smuggling after a Border Patrol K-9 sniffed out drugs hidden behind the rear door panels Nissan Altima stopped at an Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley.
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Two people were arrested for narcotics smuggling after a Border Patrol K-9 sniffed out drugs hidden in the rear-quarter panels of a Nissan Versa stopped at an Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley.
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Two people were arrested for narcotics smuggling after a Border Patrol K-9 sniffed out drugs hidden in the rear-quarter panels of a Nissan Versa stopped at an Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley.
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Two people were arrested for narcotics smuggling after a Border Patrol K-9 sniffed out drugs hidden in the rear-quarter panels of a Nissan Versa stopped at an Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents discovered nearly 3,100 pounds of marijuana disguised in a shipment of cucumbers at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents discovered nearly 3,100 pounds of marijuana disguised in a shipment of cucumbers at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016.
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U.S. Border Patrol
On Sept. 7, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol agents seized 13 high-powered firearms and arrested four Mexican nationals for possession of the weapons at a home in Oxnard, California.
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The cache of weapons in the Sept. 7, 2016, bust included 10 AR-15 assault rifles, one .50 caliber rifle, one shotgun, one semiautomatic center-fire rifle, numerous rounds of ammunition and $10,000 in illicit currency, the U.S. Border Patrol said.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more than $3 million in cash from two vehicles suspected of driving in tandem on Interstate 15.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more than $3 million in cash from two vehicles suspected of driving in tandem on Interstate 15.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the San Ysidro port of entry Friday discovered almost 1,500 pounds of marijuana concealed inside pieces of wooden furniture.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the San Ysidro port of entry Friday discovered almost 1,500 pounds of marijuana concealed inside pieces of wooden furniture.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the San Ysidro port of entry Friday discovered almost 1,500 pounds of marijuana concealed inside pieces of wooden furniture.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Aug. 9, 2016 U.S. Border Patrol agents in Ocotillo, California arrested a woman on Highway S-2 on suspicion of smuggling methamphetamine. With the help of a K-9 team, agents discovered 40 packages of meth – wrapped in black electrical tape – hidden inside the rocker panels of the woman’s car as she attempted to pass a checkpoint. The meth weighed more than 52 pounds and was valued at $208,560.
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On July 6, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 checkpoint in Salton City, California, discovered more than 20 pounds of methamphetamine stashed inside an air-conditioning unit that was in a Ford Fusion driven by a smuggling suspect. The drugs were in a vacuum-sealed bundle hidden inside the A/C unit, which had been gutted. Officials said the meth weighed 20.27 pounds and was valued at approximately $109,080. The driver, a U.S. citizen, was arrested.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On June 23, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol agents working in San Clemente discovered nearly seven pounds of cocaine stashed inside a fire extinguisher in a woman’s SUV as she tried to pass the checkpoint. A K-9 alerted agents to the fire extinguisher during a secondary inspection of the woman’s car. When agents picked up the fire extinguisher, they found it to feel unusually heavy. When agents opened the canister, they found cocaine hidden inside. The drugs were valued at $81,960. The woman, a Mexican national, was arrested on suspicion of smuggling.rn
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On June 11, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Otay Mesa cargo port of entry discovered 577 large packages of marijuana hidden inside a shipment of red stones carried in a truck attempting to cross the checkpoint.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
During an X-ray examination of the truck and its shipment, officers identified an anomaly and referred the truck to a secondary inspection. At a dock, a CBP officer with a K-9 screened the truck and the K-9 alerted to the stones inside the truck’s trailer. A CBP officer drilled a hole through one of the stones and extracted a leafy-green substance. Using sledge hammers and jack hammers to break the red stones, CBP officers found 1,619 pounds of pot hidden inside the stones. The drugs were valued at $810,000.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
“My officers not only need to enforce typical import and export laws, but also need to be vigilant for smuggling attempts like this,” Otay Mesa Cargo Port Director Rosa Hernandez said of the bizarre border bust.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Seven tons of marijuana were found stashed in a trailer attempting to cross the Otay Mesa cargo facility in south San Diego on April 28, 2016. The drugs had an estimated street value of $7.1 million.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Seven tons of marijuana were found stashed in a trailer attempting to cross the Otay Mesa cargo facility in south San Diego on April 28, 2016. The drugs had an estimated street value of $7.1 million.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On April 20, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Highway 86 checkpoint arrested a driver attempting to smuggle $81,000 worth of methamphetamine inside the spare tire of his car across the checkpoint. After a secondary inspection of the driver’s 2002 White Ford Explorer, agents discovered packages of meth hidden in the car’s spare tire. The drugs had a combined weight of more than nine pounds.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On March 14, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol agents discovered $214,020 worth of methamphetamine hidden inside the door panels of a Honda Accord attempting to pass the Highway 86 checkpoint. A canine first alerted agents to the vehicle. During a secondary inspection and search, agents found 23.78 pounds of meth stashed in the vehicle’s door panels. The driver of the Honda, a U.S. citizen, was arrested by DEA agents.
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El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio and El Centro stations arrested two people for attempted drug smuggling and arrested a previously deported gang member in three separate incidents the past few days. Agents confiscated seven bundles of heroin and $296,800 worth of meth in the incidents.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On March 1, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico East Port of Entry discovered an undocumented Brazilian man crammed into the modified compartment of an SUV's gas tank. The human smuggling attempt was thwarted when officers inspected the vehicle.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On March 1, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico East Port of Entry discovered an undocumented Brazilian man crammed into the modified compartment of an SUV's gas tank. The human smuggling attempt was thwarted when officers inspected the vehicle.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On March 1, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico East Port of Entry discovered an undocumented Brazilian man crammed into the modified compartment of an SUV's gas tank. The human smuggling attempt was thwarted when officers inspected the vehicle.
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On March 1, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Highway 86 checkpoint in Southern California discovered $546,570 worth of methamphetamine hidden inside the seat cushions of a driver’s 2016 Toyota Avalon attempting to cross the checkpoint. After K-9s alerted to the vehicle, agents ran a search. Stashes inside the seat cushions, agents found 44 bundles of meth wrapped in brown tape. The drugs weighed a total of 60.73 pounds. The 33-year-old driver of the Avalon was taken into custody on suspicion of smuggling.rn
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On March 1, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Highway 86 checkpoint in Southern California discovered $546,570 worth of methamphetamine hidden inside the seat cushions of a driver’s 2016 Toyota Avalon attempting to cross the checkpoint. After K-9s alerted to the vehicle, agents ran a search. Stashes inside the seat cushions, agents found 44 bundles of meth wrapped in brown tape. The drugs weighed a total of 60.73 pounds. The 33-year-old driver of the Avalon was taken into custody on suspicion of smuggling.rn
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A man and woman were busted with nearly five pounds of methamphetamine hidden in their car on Feb. 26, 2016, according to U.S. Border Patrol officials. The 28-year-old woman and 32-year-old male passenger were pulled over in their silver Honda Accord at the Highway 11 checkpoint near Indio. A K-9 alerted to the vehicle, and on closer examination, agents found 10 vacuum-sealed bundles of meth in the rear passenger wheel well. The drugs weighed 44.97 pounds and have an estimated street value of $449,700. The couple -- both U.S. citizens -- and the drugs were handed over to the DEA.
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U.S. Border Patrol agents seized 33 pounds of cocaine from a man driving through the Interstate 5 checkpoint in San Clemente on Feb. 4, 2016. After an initial inspection, the 23-year-old male driver was told to drive his Ford F-150 to a second check. A K-9 alerted the agents to the truck's undercarriage. When the officials examined it, they found 12 bundles of cocaine stashed in the exhaust system, agents say.
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The drugs weighed 33.2 pounds and have an estimated street value of $531,200. The driver and drugs were turned over to the DEA, while the truck was seized by Border Patrol.
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Three people were arrested after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers performed a safety check of a private boat off the coast of San Diego. Inside the boat, a drug sniffing dog alerted officers to the lower rear cabin. Officers searched the boat and found 74 wrapped packages of a total of 411 pounds of marijuana hidden in the floor and walls of the vessel. The quantity of marijuana had a street value of $247,000. A 32-year-old man, 27-year-old man and 25-year-old woman were turned over to the custody of Homeland Security special agents.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Jan. 27, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the San Clemente Checkpoint discovered more than 38 pounds of crystal methamphetamine stuffed into 30 vacuum-sealed plastic bottles hidden in the gas tank of a Jeep Liberty attempting to cross the checkpoint. The meth found inside the SUV was detected through the use of a fiber-optic scope tool after a K-9 alerted agents to the undercarriage of the vehicle. The drugs had an estimated street value of $439,250. The 21-year-old U.S. citizen driving the Jeep was detained.rn
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Jan. 27, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the San Clemente Checkpoint discovered more than 38 pounds of crystal methamphetamine stuffed into 30 vacuum-sealed plastic bottles hidden in the gas tank of a Jeep Liberty attempting to cross the checkpoint. The meth found inside the SUV was detected through the use of a fiber-optic scope tool after a K-9 alerted agents to the undercarriage of the vehicle. The drugs had an estimated street value of $439,250. The 21-year-old U.S. citizen driving the Jeep was detained.rn
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U.S. Border Patrol agents seized $465,200 worth of methamphetamine after pulling over a driver at the I-8 checkpoint in Pine Valley on Jan. 13, 2016. A K-9 alerted agents to a 1995 Jeep Wrangler, driven by a 20-year-old woman. In the passenger seat was a 20-year-old man.
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When the vehicle was pulled over for a second inspection, agents found an "aftermarket compartment" in the Jeep's undercarriage. Inside the compartment, the suspected smugglers had packed 10 bundles of crystal meth.
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Border Patrol say the drugs weighed 46.52 pounds and have an estimated street value of $465,200. The driver and passenger, both U.S. citizens, were arrested and turned over to the DEA, as was the meth. The Jeep was seized by Border Patrol.
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On December 14, 2015 Border Patrol agents near the San Clemente checkpoint arrested a 35-year-old man. After a K-9 alerted officers they found two large black bags filled with 28 bundles of meth in the trunk. The meth has an estimated street value of $370,400.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Photos of the 16-year-old boy who allegedly tried to smuggle heroin across a Border Patrol checkpoint in Southern California on Dec. 9, 2015. The teen was wearing a spandex body suit, and the drugs were stashed inside the suit, agents said.
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El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents busted a 19-year-old man for drug possession as he tried to get through the Highway 86 checkpoint on Dec. 4, 2015, officials say. As the man drove up in a 2003 Nissan Sentra, a K-9 unit alerted to the vehicle. At the secondary inspection, agents found 14 bundles of methamphetamine in the rear quarter panels and bumper of the Nissan.
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Border Patrol
The next day at about 11 a.m., agents stopped a 32-year-old man in a Hyundai Elantra. The man agreed to a K-9 search of the car, during which the dog alerted that there were drugs inside. Eleven bundles of meth were pulled from the gas tank, agents say.
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On Dec. 6, 2015, Border Patrol agents stopped a 24-year-old man at a Highway 111 checkpoint. The man, in a 2014 Chevy Cruze, watched as a K-9 alerted to his vehicle. Agents soon found 12 bundles of meth inside a duffle bag laying in the car's trunk.
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In all, these three seizures netted 45.05 pounds of meth, which has an estimated street value of $450,500, agents say. All three suspects, who are U.S. citizens, were turned over to the DEA, as were the vehicles and drugs.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Dec. 3, 2015, U.S. Border Patrol agents on I-5 near the San Clemente checkpoint stopped two men inside a 2002 Isuzu Rodeo. A search of the car turned up 45 bundles of methamphetamine scattered throughout the vehicle. The drugs weighed 47 pounds and were worth about $470,000. rn rn
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Dec. 3, 2015, U.S. Border Patrol agents on I-5 near the San Clemente checkpoint stopped two men inside a 2002 Isuzu Rodeo. A search of the car turned up 45 bundles of methamphetamine scattered throughout the vehicle. The drugs weighed 47 pounds and were worth about $470,000. rn rn
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Two men were arrested after U.S. Border Patrol says they tried to smuggle marijuana in a fake Imperial Irrigation District work truck near Calexico on Nov. 19, 2015. A remote video surveillance operator saw the men walk illegally into the U.S. to a hydroelectric plant near the All-American Canal. The men loaded large bundles into a pickup truck driven by a 25-year-old Mexican national. When Border Patrol agents approached them, one man jumped into the truck's passenger seat, while the other ran into Mexico. After a short chase, both suspects bailed out and tried to run into Mexico as well. However, agents caught them and found the bundles in the truck contained 38 packages of marijuana. The drugs weighed 674.39 pounds and have an estimated value of more than $404,000. The suspects, vehicle and drugs were turned over to the DEA.
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