Murrieta, CA–San Diego Sector US Border Patrol agents from Newton Azrak Border Patrol Station, seized over 150 pounds of narcotics between May 24 and May 26, officials said.
On May 24 at approximately 10:50 a.m. agents conducted a vehicle stop on a 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe traveling northbound on Interstate 15 just north of the I-15 checkpoint. A search of the vehicle yielded the discovery of 67 total packages of narcotics hidden within the gas tank.
The packages tested positive for two types of narcotics. 65 packages tested positive for fentanyl pills and two tested positive for fentanyl powder.
The total weight was 83.93 pounds of fentanyl pills with an estimated street value of $850,000 and 5.28 lbs. of fentanyl powder with an estimated street value of $63,360.
The smugglers, identified as United States citizens, the narcotics, and all personal property were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations and the multi-agency Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force (INCA) to be processed accordingly. The vehicle was seized by Border Patrol.
“Last year, over 100,000 lives were lost in the United States resulting from drug overdoses. Through strong partnerships with the U.S. Border Patrol and INCA, Homeland Security Investigations Los Angeles is dedicated to preventing this poison from hitting our streets and holding traffickers accountable,” said Eddy Wang, Acting Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations Los Angeles.
On May 26, at approximately 9:45 a.m. agents conducted a vehicle stop on a white Jeep Liberty traveling northbound on Interstate 15. During the search of the vehicle, agents discovered four tires containing after-market compartments containing suspected narcotics.
A total of 42 packages were removed from the tires. The packages tested positive for two types of narcotics. 34 packages tested positive for fentanyl powder and eight packages tested positive for heroin.
The total weight was 39.5 pounds fentanyl powder with an estimated street value of $474,000 and 26.9 pounds of heroin with an estimated street value of $345,600.
The driver, a Mexican national, was turned over to local county law enforcement and booked on state charges. The narcotics and vehicle were seized by Border Patrol.
In Fiscal Year 2022, year to date, San Diego Sector has seized over 128 pounds of heroin and 560 pounds of fentanyl.
“By seizing these narcotics, our Border Patrol agents not only keep dangerous drugs out of our communities but also deny criminal organizations the profits derived from their sale,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke.
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 the nation’s borders.