Over $600K in drugs seized near I-5 checkpoint

Found marijuana,cocaine in two cars, minutes apart

CAMP PENDLETON - Border Patrol agents at and near the Interstate 5 checkpoint in San Diego North County seized more than $600,000 in marijuana and cocaine from two vehicles stopped minutes apart, the agency announced Thursday.

The first bust occurred about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday when agents stopped a 23-year-old U.S. citizen at the checkpoint in the northbound lanes near Camp Pendleton and tagged his Ford Fusion for further inspection, Border Patrol officials said.

The driver told agents he was going to the Long Beach Airport to pick up a friend and gave them permission to search his car. Agents smelled marijuana as they opened the trunk -- which contained several suitcases -- and the driver admitted they contained marijuana, agency officials said.

Border Patrol officials found 63 brick-size bundles of marijuana weighing about 213 pounds in the suitcases. They estimate its street value at $128,310.

Border Patrol officials said the suspect and the marijuana were turned over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Shortly after, agents patrolling near the I-5 checkpoint pulled over a 2000 Honda Civic driven by a 20-year-old man, authorities said. 

 A drug-sniffing dog tipped them off to the trunk where 17 bundles of cocaine were hidden in a speaker box. Officials estimate the value of the 41 pounds of cocaine found at $531,000.

That suspect was taken into custody by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland security Investigations, authorities said.

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