March 21, 2014
SAN CLEMENTE – A man suspected of smuggling $1.8 million worth of crystal meth was arrested Tuesday at the northbound I-5 checkpoint near San Clemente, authorities said.
U.S. Border Patrol agents discovered the drugs during a search of a 2002 Mazda Tribute about 1:30 p.m., according to a law enforcement statement.
An initial search turned up methamphetamine hidden in foil-wrapped packages in a door panel, authorities said. A more in-depth search turned up additional packages underneath the center console and the floor of the SUV.
Agents found 183 pounds of methamphetamine in 136 packages, which they estimate has a street value of more than $1.8 million.
The driver, a 52-year-old Mexican national, was taken into custody. He and the SUV were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.