California Border Patrol Seizes Nearly $1M Drugs in 2 Hours
In three separate incidents on Wednesday, Border Patrol agents in Murrieta and Indio, California seized $964,530 worth of drugs, including cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin. All three seizures occurred in under two hours.
At 10:30 a.m., Murrieta sector Border Patrol agents stopped a 41-year-old U.S. woman in a Ford Expedition on I-10. After drug-sniffing dogs gave a "positive alert" to the agents, they searched her car and found 51.36 pounds of cocaine, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) press release. Authorities estimated the street value of the cocaine at $667,680.
Just 15 minutes later, at 10:45 a.m., the same agents stopped another Ford Expedition, driven by a 59-year-old U.S. woman. The agents got permission from the woman to search her car, where they found four packages of drugs hidden in an ice chest; 1.10 pounds of methamphetamine, 5.09 pounds of cocaine, and just under a pound of heroin. The combined estimated street value of all three drugs in that seizure is $87,650.
Both women were arrested and face drug smuggling charges. The cars were seized by Border Patrol.
A third incident occurred at 12:15 p.m., just an hour and a half later, according to a separate CBP press release. Border Patrol agents at the Indio Station in El Centro Sector stopped a 21-year-old man and 48-year-old woman, both Mexican nationals, when drug-sniffing dogs alerted agents to narcotics in their car. During the agents' search, they found a hidden compartment built into the frame of the car; inside were 18 packages of cocaine, weighing a combined 20.96 pounds. The estimated street value of the cocaine is $209,600.
The two suspects, the drugs, and the car were all turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for further investigation.