Smuggling trafficking Riverside
The 234.5 pounds of methamphetamine seized Wednesday near the San Diego County line. Photo credit: Courtesy, Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Border Patrol agents found nearly 235 pounds of methamphetamine stashed inside a vehicle on Interstate 15, officials announced Thursday.

At approximately noon Wednesday, an agent patrolling the freeway spotted a burgundy Jeep Grand Cherokee traveling northbound.  The agent initiated a stop just north of the San Diego County line near Temecula.

During the stop, a Border Patrol K-9 team searched the exterior of the vehicle, and the dog alerted to the Jeep, prompting a thorough search.

Agents discovered 156 bundles of methamphetamine hidden throughout various compartments in the Jeep – in the doors, tire well, under the seats and in the gas tank. 

At 234.5 pounds, the methamphetamine is valued at approximately $469,000, the Border Patrol estimated.

The agency turned the methamphetamine over to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.  The Border Patrol seized the vehicle. 

The 42-year-old driver, a Mexican citizen in possession of a valid Border Crossing Card B1/B2 Visa, was arrested and faces charges for narcotics trafficking. 

San Diego Sector agents have confiscated more than 4,657 pounds of methamphetamine since October 1.

To report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.