BARSTOW, Calif. — Two individuals were arrested on Monday while attempting to transport approximately 35 pounds of fentanyl near Barstow, said U.S. Border Patrol Agent, Angel L. Morena in a press release.

USBP agents assigned to the Murrieta Station encountered a silver sedan that was parked at a gas station near the westbound Interstate 15 off-ramp at Barstow Road with two occupants inside around 12:30 a.m.

Agent Morena said after a brief conversation with the individuals, multiple bundles concealed inside the vehicle’s trunk were discovered by the responding USBP agents. The contents of the bundles tested positive for fentanyl.

According to USBP, the street value of the drug seizure is estimated to be worth $553,000. The narcotics were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations and the vehicle was taken by USBP.

The arrested individuals were later identified as a 23-year-old man from the U.S. and a 31-year-old man from Guatemala.

“I am proud to say that our San Diego Sector agents prevented these individuals from poisoning our communities,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke.  “These agents are responsible for over 50% of all fentanyl seized by the U.S. Border Patrol this year.” 

San Diego Border Patrol Agents have seized more than a 1,000 pounds of fentanyl since October of 2021, according to the press release.