A man enrolled in a "trusted traveler" border-crossing program was caught this week trying to enter the United States through Otay Mesa Port of Entry in a car stuffed with a million-dollar haul of methamphetamine, authorities reported Thursday.
» Unusual Drug Smuggling Attempts» Unusual Drug Smuggling Attempts 2» Sign Up For Breaking News Alerts» Like Us On Facebook
The driver, a 30-year-old U.S. citizen who lives in Tijuana, pulled into the inspection station in a 2000 Honda Civic about 5 a.m. Wednesday, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
While looking over the vehicle with an electronic imaging scanner, officers noticed suspicious abnormalities. They then conducted a thorough search and found three dozen packages of methamphetamine stashed in the sedan's doors, quarter panels and spare tire.
The driver, whose name was not released, was booked into Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown San Diego. Federal personnel seized the vehicle and the nearly 54 pounds of illicit narcotic, which had an estimated street value of about $1 million.
The suspect had been enrolled in the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers' Rapid Inspection, which allows for expedited border-crossing for pre-approved commuters along the southwest border.
Those who apply for membership in the SENTRI program provide additional information, fingerprints and a photo, and pass a background vetting procedure classifying them as low-risk travelers. They then can use dedicated express lanes when crossing the international line.
Copyright Do you have more information about this story? Click here to contact usCopyright 2012 by City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.