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Border Patrol Snags $500K in Meth, Cocaine

Agents make three stops in San Diego County -- one at the checkpoint just south of San Clemente -- netting the drugs.

In three separate incidents this week, the U.S. Border Patrol busted alleged smugglers carrying a combined 36.4 pounds of meth and cocaine with an estimated street value of $500,000.

At 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, agents at the San Clemente checkpoint on the 5 Freeway stopped a 30-year-old U.S. man driving a 1991 Jeep Cherokee, according to a Border Patrol press release.

The man acted cagey when questioned, so agents brought in a drug dog. The K-9 sniffed out 12 bundles of crystal meth in the speaker box, weighing 14.11 pounds and worth $211,650, the press release states.

At 1:40 p.m. Monday, agents at the I-15 checkpoint stopped a 22-year-old U.S. man driving a 2006 Nissan Altima. When the driver and passenger acted nervous, agents brought out the drug dog, the release said. The animal sniffed out 2.09 pounds of methamphetamine in a fake dashboard, agents said. The Border Patrol said the meth had a street value of $41,800.

At 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, agents at the I-8 checkpoint stopped a 39-year-old U.S. man driving a 2003 BMW X5. This driver also acted nervous, promting inspection by the K-9 unit. The dog detected drugs in the engine compartment and cargo area of the vehicle. The engine's electrical box was stuffed with 3.18 pounds of met worth $63,600, the Border Patrol said. And a cardboard box in the cargo area contained 17.06 pounds of coke worth $187,660, agents said.

The Border Patrol kept the vehicles and turned over the drugs and suspects to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

For some context on this story, read Patch.com's three-part series on :

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