SAN DIEGO – A 27-year-old man was behind bars Monday after allegedly getting caught smuggling an 18-pound haul of methamphetamine through the East County highlands in the gas tank of his car.
The suspect drove a 2001 Chrysler sedan into a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 8 in the Pine Valley area on Sunday, according to USBP public affairs.
During a search of the car, a service dog alerted officers to an access panel underneath the rear passenger seat. The hatch opened into the fuel tank, which contained 19 packages of meth with a combined estimated street value of $371,000.
The driver, a U.S. citizen whose name was not released, was arrested on suspicion of narcotics trafficking. The Border Patrol impounded the vehicle and turned over the seized drugs to the county Sheriff’s Department.