By Gina Yarbrough
Temecula, CA–U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a driver with nearly 50 pounds of fentanyl with a street value of $700,000 concealed inside his vehicle on Wednesday at the Murrieta Border Patrol checkpoint, officials said.
Border Patrol agents stopped a blue 2018 Volkswagen Jetta at about 11:27 a.m. on Interstate 15 just north of the Border Patrol checkpoint. Agents on the vehicle stop requested assistance from a Border Patrol K-9 unit to conduct a sniff of the vehicle. The K-9 alerted agents to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle.
Upon searching the vehicle, agents located 10 packages hidden inside the spare tire. An additional three packages were found within a compartment inside the vehicle’s battery. Seven of the 13 packages were found to contain fentanyl pills. The remaining packages contained fentanyl powder. The combined weight of the seizure was 49.6 pounds. The estimated street value of the seizure is $704,000.
The driver and the narcotics were turned over to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Southwest Investigative Bureau for investigation and prosecution. The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Since October 1, 2021, San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents have seized more than 613 pounds of fentanyl.