U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested three Mexican nationals Saturday morning for allegedly smuggling more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana inside a Panga-style boat, according to a press release from the agency.
The pot has a street value of almost $1 million, while the cocaine and pills have a combined street value of more than $250,000.
The San Onofre Bust
At about 4 a.m. Saturday, California National Guardsmen working with the Border Patrol spotted a boat with three men traveling without navigation lights along the San Diego County coast.
Border Patrol Agents and Guardsmen kept an eye on the boat, following it until it landed at San Onofre State Beach at about 5 a.m.
Agents arrested the three men, who they determined crossed the border illegally, as they were unloading 21 bundles of marijuana with a total weight of 1,543.04 pounds and an estimated street value of $925,821.60, according to a news release.
The men, the drugs and the vessel were turned over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.
The Wednesday Bust
At 9 a.m. Wednesday, about six miles south of the San Clemente Border Patrol checkpoint, agents met a 48-year-old Mexican national in a 1998 Ford F-150 truck parked at the Aliso Creek rest area on the northbound Interstate 5 Freeway.
A press release from the Border Patrol states that agents brought in a drug dog because of the man's "nervous demeanor and inconsistent answers" to questions.
The dog alerted agents to drugs near the rear undercarriage of the truck. They subsequently found nine bundles of cocaine weighing 24.58 pounds inside the muffler. The street value is estimated at $245,815, according to the release.
Agents also discovered 100 oxycodone pills with an estimated street value of $8,000, the release states.
The suspected smuggler, drugs, and truck were taken into custody and subsequently turned over to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.