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Border & Immigration

Man Held For Allegedly Smuggling Meth Through Eastern SD County

Multiple packages of methamphetamine concealed inside the spare tire of an SUV stopped by Border Patrol agents at the checkpoint on Interstate 8 in Pine Valley on Aug. 8, 2020.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Multiple packages of methamphetamine concealed inside the spare tire of an SUV stopped by Border Patrol agents at the checkpoint on Interstate 8 in Pine Valley on Aug. 8, 2020.

U.S. Border Patrol agents staffing a freeway checkpoint in eastern San Diego County arrested a man after finding more than 100 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in the SUV he was driving, the agency reported Tuesday.

It happened around 2 p.m. Saturday when a 53-year-old man driving a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV pulled up to an inspection station on Interstate 8 in Pine Valley, according to the U.S. Border Patrol.

A service dog alerted agents to inspect the SUV and they found 98 vacuum-sealed bags packed inside the front passenger door, the left and right rear doors, the left and right rear quarter-panels, the spare tire and the rear cargo door, officials said.

The bags contained 101.9 pounds of methamphetamine, with an estimated street value of $229,500, federal officials reported.

The methamphetamine and the suspect, a Mexican citizen whose name was not released, were turned over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The man's vehicle was seized by the Border Patrol.