MURRIETA — Border Patrol agents arrested a 53-year-old man Friday afternoon, April 7, after agents discovered nearly $200,000 worth of narcotics hidden inside a vehicle the man was driving.
Agents found the illegal narcotics after they conducted a traffic enforcement stop on the suspect’s vehicle, a Dodge Journey SUV. Agents made the stop about 1:30 p.m., on northbound I-215, near the Murrieta Hot Springs Rd. exit.
During the vehicle stop, agents brought in a law enforcement trained K-9 and a “sniff” was conducted on the vehicle. The K-9 almost immediately alerted to the presence of narcotics, at which time agents conducted a further search of the vehicle.
While searching the SUV, agents located a secret, hidden, man-made compartment built into the vehicle’s firewall.
Agents eventually located and seized 57 bundles of methamphetamine totaling more than 53 pounds of methamphetamine, with a street value of $128,520.
Agents also located and recovered two bundles of heroin from the compartment, totaling more than six pounds of heroin, with a street value of $68,310.
The suspected smuggler, who agents did not identify, was booked into the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta and is facing several narcotics-related charges.
After recovering the narcotics, U.S. Border Patrol agents seized the suspect’s vehicle.
This sizable drug bust comes on the heels of an April 6 traffic stop and drug bust, during which agents located and seized nearly 35 pounds of methamphetamine during another Border Patrol vehicle stop in the same area of Murrieta.