A U.S. Border Patrol official is reporting the agency halted a drug smuggling attempt on Interstate 15 near Temecula early Monday morning.
U.S. Border Patrol Agent Jerry Conlin said the incident began when agents stopped a 23-year-old U.S. citizen around 3 a.m. at the freeway checkpoint just south of Temecula. The man, whose identity has not been released by authorities, was driving a 2002 GMC Envoy.
“Agents became suspicious of the driver and his male passenger’s nervous demeanors and referred them for a secondary inspection,” Conlin stated in a news release. “A Border Patrol K-9 team performed a cursory inspection ... resulting in an alert to the front and rear of the vehicle.”
According to Conlin, agents searched the Envoy and found liquid methamphetamine inside four shampoo bottles and two antifreeze containers in the vehicle’s rear cargo area; additional liquid meth was also discovered inside the windshield washer reservoir.
The illicit narcotic weighed 42.22 pounds and had an estimated street value of $844,400, Conlin stated.
The suspected smugglers were arrested and are being held in Department of Homeland Security custody; the drugs were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration and the vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol, Conlin said.