Customs and Border Protection: Couple, with 3 kids in car, smuggled meth

PINE VALLEY, Calif. - A Mexican couple were arrested at the Border Patrol checkpoint in Pine Valley on suspicion of smuggling more than $22,000 worth of methamphetamine in their car, which was also carrying their three children, the federal agency announced Wednesday.

The couple's 2010 Toyota Venza was stopped at the Interstate 8 checkpoint about 6 p.m. on July 10, and the 32-year-old driver passed his permanent resident card to agents, according to a Border Patrol statement. However, the passenger had immigration documents that had been canceled.

A drug-sniffing dog alerted agents as they questioned the woman, and a subsequent search of the car turned up 2.21 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a tote bag in the center console, Border Patrol officials said.

The man and woman were arrested on possession of a controlled substance and handed off to the Drug Enforcement Administration, authorities said. The three kids, all under 10 years old, were turned over to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services protective services officer.

The car was seized by Border Patrol agents, according to the agency statement.

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