Border Patrol seizes $1.7M in narcotics

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The U.S. Border Patrol arrested two drivers and seized more than $1.7 million worth of heroin and fentanyl, a San Diego-based spokesman announced Friday.

The first discovery occurred about 1 p.m. Wednesday when agents stopped a 46-year-old man driving a 2014 Nissan Versa near the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 5 near San Clemente, Supervisory Agent Mark Endicott said. An agency K-9 alerted on the sedan during the stop, and a search of the vehicle turned up two duffle bags in the trunk containing 14 bundles of heroin weighing about 40 pounds.

The heroin had an estimated street value of about $565,000, Endicott said. Border Patrol agents seized the Versa and turned over the driver to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Less than an hour later, Endicott said, agents conducted a stop on Interstate 15 near Clinton Keith Road in Murrieta on a 2015 Volkswagen Vento, a sedan that’s sold in Mexico but not the U.S. 

An agency K-9 alerted on the vehicle, which was driven by a 26-year-old U.S. citizen, and the subsequent search turned up a cardboard box in the trunk filled with just under 35 pounds of fentanyl split into 10 packages, Endicott said. Those drugs had an estimated street value of nearly $1.18 million. 

The Vento’s driver, whose name was not released, was being held in a Riverside County jail and is expected to face drug smuggling charges, Endicott said, adding that the car was seized.

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