Directly across from perhaps the most serene stretch of beaches southern California has to offer law enforcement officers have apprehended three men, in three separate incidents over the last two weeks, attempting to get pounds of drugs through the San Clemente I-5 checkpoint.
The first arrest was that of a 19-year-old last Thursday. The teen was driving a 2001 Chevrolet Suburban through the I-5 checkpoint around 4 p.m. when law enforcement officers became suspicious of the driver’s demeanor. Upon inspection Border Patrol officers discovered 237 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $355,740. The drugs were separated into 47 bundles and had been hidden behind the driver and front passenger seats as well as in the trunk of the car. The teen was taken into custody and the drugs were released to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
The second arrest was that of another 19-year-old attempting to smuggle 13 bundles of methamphetamine through the checkpoint at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Border Patrol agents quickly honed into the teen’s nervous demeanor and ran drug-sniffing dogs around the perimeter of the car. Once the drugs had been discovered, the driver attempting to avoid arrest by running into traffic on the northbound I-5. The recovered methamphetamine weighed roughly 27 pounds and had an estimated street value of $553,400.
Lastly, border patrol agents arrested a 33-year-old male in a 2003 Land Rover upon discovering 23 bundles of heroin and 10 bundles of methamphetamine hidden in a makeshift compartment under the floorboard of the car. The heroin weighed 19.62 pounds and had an estimated street value of $235, 440. The methamphetamine weighed 12.79 pounds and had an estimated street value of $255,800.