Couple caught smuggling 13 pounds of heroin at border crossing


PINE VALLEY, Calif. — U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested two U.S. citizens on Tuesday who were transporting nearly 13 pounds of heroin in their vehicle.

At approximately 3:45 p.m., a man driving a dark-colored Chevy Avalanche pulled into the Interstate 8 checkpoint in Pine Valley.  As agents questioned the man and his female passenger, a service K-9 alerted to their vehicle.

During the search of the vehicle and the two occupants, agents discovered vacuum-sealed packages affixed to the woman underneath her clothing. Agents removed several wrapped packages from around her abdominal area which tested positive for heroin.  The packages weighed 12.78 pounds and have an estimated street value of $108,000.

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The narcotics, the 30-year-old female, and the 50-year-old male, both U.S. citizens, were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.  The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

“These drugs could have made their way into any American community,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke.  “Thankfully, the vigilance of our agents prevented that from occurring.”

Since Oct. 1, 2020, San Diego Sector has seized more than 737 pounds of cocaine; 1,037 pounds of methamphetamine; 70 pounds of heroin; and 259 pounds of fentanyl.

To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders.  To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.

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