A man and his girlfriend were caught by the U.S. Border Patrol near Temecula smuggling 19 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of nearly $375,000 into the country, authorities said today.
The 20-year-old U.S. citizen, who was not identified, and his 18-year- old female companion, identified only as a Mexican national, were stopped Tuesday afternoon on Interstate 15, just north of Temecula, in a 2006 Mercury Montego, according to Border Patrol Agent Scott Simon.
He said agents, with the help of a K9 unit, performed a “cursory” inspection of the four-door sedan, leading to the discovery of “17 vacuum-sealed bundles of meth inside of a large tire located in the trunk.”
The contraband had a street value of $374,800, according to Simon.
The man was turned over to the custody of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the woman was turned over to the Department of Homeland Security for deportation proceedings, Simon said.
Border Patrol agents seized the car.