Agents Stop 2 Drug Smuggling Attempts at I-8 Checkpoint

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The narcotics were stuffed inside a cylinder and then sealed inside an AC unit.
The narcotics were stuffed inside a cylinder and then sealed inside an AC unit.

PINE VALLEY, Calif.—U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Interstate 8 checkpoint arrested two men on Tuesday, just hours apart, who had narcotics inside their vehicles.

At about 7:45 a.m., a 49-year-old male Mexican national approached the I-8 checkpoint and was referred for a secondary inspection. When agents conducted the inspection, their K-9 partner responded and alerted to an air conditioner in the back seat of the driver’s 2001 Toyota Sequoia SUV.

Agents removed the air conditioner and opened the access plate. Inside was a sealed cylinder tube filled with methamphetamine. When officials removed the meth, they also discovered a second parcel, which was filled with cocaine.

The meth had a total weight of 18.03 pounds and the cocaine had a total weight of 2.56 pounds. The combined value of the two narcotics was estimated at $221,260.

The narcotics were stuffed inside a cylinder and then sealed inside an air conditioning unit.

Shortly after that incident, agents thwarted a second smuggling attempt at the checkpoint at about 10:30 a.m. A 23-year-old male U.S. citizen approached the checkpoint driving a 1999 Chevrolet Silverado truck. He also was referred to secondary inspection, where agents found four vacuum-sealed bundles of methamphetamine hidden behind the truck’s back-seat wall panel. The methamphetamine had an estimated street value of $45,000.

Both drivers face federal charges for narcotics smuggling. The men and their narcotics were turned over to a task force led by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Their vehicles were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.