A 35-year-old Mexican woman tried to smuggle nearly $500,000 worth of methamphetamine through a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in Pine Valley while driving a minivan with her 11-year-old son inside, authorities said today.

The drugs were found secreted in the gas tank late Saturday, and the woman, whose name was withheld, was arrested at the Interstate 8 checkpoint, according to a statement from the U.S. Border Patrol’s San Diego sector.

Border Patrol Logo

A service dog alerted agents to something suspicion in the woman’s 2005 Chrysler Town and Country minivan, and authorities found 27 cellophane-sealed packages of meth in the gas tank.

The total haul was more than 40 pounds, valued at $490,820, according to federal agents.

The boy was taken to San Ysidro and turned over to his father.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.