CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — San Diego Sector U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a man on Wednesday with more than 70 pounds of cocaine hidden in his vehicle.
At approximately 12:30 p.m., U.S. Border Patrol agents on Interstate 5 pulled over a Ford Ranger truck near the Basilone Road exit. A U.S. Border Patrol agent performed a canine sniff of the vehicle, and the dog alerted.
Following the alert, agents searched the truck and discovered dozens of bundles concealed inside two toolboxes. One toolbox was inside the pickup cab and the second was in the truck bed. The driver, who was a 30-year-old male U.S. citizen, and his vehicle were taken to a nearby Border Patrol station for further investigation.
At the station, agents probed one of the bundles, revealing a white, powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine. The 29 bundles weighed 70.21 pounds and have an estimated street value of $1,003,275.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations agents were notified and took custody of the driver and narcotics. The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
“San Diego Sector agents have seized more than 1,000 pounds of cocaine this fiscal year,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke. “Taking these drugs off our streets protects American communities everywhere. I am proud of our agents’ diligent efforts.”
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.