Over $500,000 worth of cocaine was found near an infant’s seat and in a car’s trunk after officers stopped a driver who was seen driving dangerously through San Clemente, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Friday.
Border agents patrolling the 5 Freeway spotted a “suspicious” Nissan Altima speed past them, going about 85 miles-per-hour, erratically changing lanes and passing other vehicles at around 4:45 p.m. Thursday, according to a CBP news release.
The agents followed the car until into pulled into a shopping center, where the driver and his wife got out of the car with the infant and quickly walked away.
Agents approached the family and asked to search their car.
“The man agreed and agents discovered a duffel bag in the car trunk that contained 20 brick-shaped packages of cocaine,” CBP said in the news release. “Agents also discovered an additional package of cocaine tucked inside a shopping bag near the infant’s car seat.”
Together, the bundles weighed 51.25 pounds and have an estimated street value of $512,500, according to the agency.
As the agents questioned the driver, his wife said she had to use the restroom and went into the shopping center with her child.
When she didn’t return, agents searched and found her a quarter mile away. She was taken in for questioning but later released, CBP said.
Her husband, a 34-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested and turned over to the Orange County Drug Enforcement Administration office. Authorities did not identify the suspect.
It’s unclear where the bundles of cocaine came from and no further details were immediately available.