U.S. Border Patrol seized more than $190,000 worth of methamphetamine after an agent and his canine partner found the drugs hidden inside an SUV near Temecula on Friday, officials said Monday.
An agent patrolling the 15 Freeway followed a suspicious 2001 green Ford Explorer as the driver exited and parked at a gas station in Rainbow, a small community in northern San Diego County, according to a news release from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The agent “engaged the driver in conversation” as his canine partner sniffed the exterior of the vehicle, CBP said. The dog alerted the agent, who then searched the SUV and found 100 pounds of meth in 96 packages inside the gas tank, spare tire and quarter panels of the car, according to the agency.
The driver, identified as a 34-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested and is facing charges for narcotics trafficking, CBP said.
The meth was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Ford Explorer was seized by Border Patrol.
CBP said Border Patrol agents for the San Diego area have seized more than 1,044 pounds of meth since Oct. 1, 2019.