SAN CLEMENTE–U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a man in North County San Diego on Tuesday who was transporting cocaine in a car.
At approximately 12:30 p.m., the Interstate 5 checkpoint near San Clemente was operational, and agents were conducting immigration inspections. As they did so, nearby agents on patrol noticed a Grey Nissan Sentra approaching the checkpoint. Agents observed the driver of the Sentra abruptly exit the freeway, and then proceed southbound on the I-5 Freeway away from the checkpoint.
Agents followed the Sentra and encountered it parked at a nearby rest stop. When they approached the driver, agents saw a number of suspicious packages on the front floorboard. A K-9 then performed a cursory sniff of the vehicle resulting in a positive alert.
A further inspection of the suspicious packages revealed 10.25 pounds of cocaine, which has an estimated street value of $120,000. The driver, a 35-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested. He and the narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The vehicle was seized by the USBP.
“These drugs could have made their way into any American community,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke. “Thankfully the vigilance of our agents prevented that.”
To prevent illegal entry and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from the nation’s borders.