By Cari Hachmann

U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a 23-year-old woman suspected of smuggling a heroin-like substance on Thursday, May 30 while she was driving on Interstate 5 near San Clemente. Another woman was arrested for smuggling narcotics on the same day near Aliso Creek rest area, according to a press release from the San Diego sector of the United States Border Patrol.

At approximately 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Border Patrol pulled over a female U.S. citizen driving a 2010 Chevy Silverado. While agents were searching the outside of the truck, a Border Patrol K-9 smelled something suspicious, leading agents to search inside the vehicle. The agents discovered two packages wrapped in plastic in the front seat.

Inside the packages was a substance that is alleged to have characteristics of heroin, according to the press release. The packages weighed a total of 4.6 pounds which translates to about $48,300 in street value. The woman and the packages were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation, authorities said. The truck was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

Later on Thursday, at approximately 12:30 p.m., agents encountered a 29-year-old female citizen in a 2005 Honda Pilot near Aliso Creek rest area on I-5.

A Border Patrol K-9 sniffing the outside of the car prompted Border Patrol agents to search further. Authorities found 11 cellophane packages that were hidden in the car’s rear differential, a component in all cars that is designed to compensate for the difference in distance the inner wheels and outer wheels travel as the car goes around a corner.

The packages were tested and proved positive for having characteristics of illegal narcotics, the press release said. Three packages tested positive for fentanyl, while eight tested positive for methamphetamine.

According to authorities, the fentanyl totaled 7.49 pounds, equivalent of about $90,100, while the methamphetamine totaled 4.8 pounds and was valued at $11,040. The woman and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation, the press release said.  The car was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

As of today, the San Diego Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol has seized approximately 2,315 pounds of methamphetamine, 64 pounds of fentanyl, and over 3000 ounces of heroin with a combined estimated street value of over $9.2 million, authorities said.

To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at 619.498.9900.


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