$720K worth of meth found in gas tanks

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SAN DIEGO — Federal agents staffing freeway checkpoints in Dulzura and San Onofre over the weekend caught motorists transporting similar loads of methamphetamine in the gas tanks of their vehicles, authorities reported Monday.

About 8 a.m. Saturday, a 23-year-old man drove into an inspection station on state Route 94 in a Toyota Camry, according to the U.S. Border Patrol.

After a service dog detected contraband in the car, officers conducted a thorough search of it, finding 30 packages of narcotics weighing a total of roughly 72 pounds. The stash would have been worth about $720,000 in street sales, officials said.

Several hours later, a 39-year-old Mexican national pulled into a Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 5, near the San Diego-Orange county line.

A drug-scenting canine alerted agents to an illicit substance in the vehicle, and they found 38 bundles of methamphetamine weighing just over 75 pounds combined. The narcotics had an estimated street value of roughly $750,000.

The suspects, whose names were not released, were arrested and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the seized drugs.