DULZURA, Calif. — A man suspected of possessing a loaded handgun as well as hiding drugs underneath his shirt and in other compartments of his vehicle was arrested Tuesday in Dulzura, border officials said.

The 37-year-old driver, a U.S. citizen, was arrested on suspicion of smuggling illegal narcotics and having a loaded 9mm pistol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection stated in a release.

Around 7:35 a.m., a white 1998 Chevrolet Silverado pulled up to the State Route 94 checkpoint, where agents questioned the driver and noticed a switchblade knife, no key in the ignition and multiple wires hanging underneath the steering wheel, according to CBP.

Authorities ordered the man to exit the vehicle to conduct a pat down, finding a plastic container lid stuck to the driver’s stomach. He then confessed to it containing heroin, border officials said.

A loaded handgun and drugs were seized at the State Route 94 checkpoint in Dulzura, California on July 19, 2022. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

When border agents inspected the vehicle, they discovered crystal methamphetamine hidden in the ashtray, marijuana buried under the driver’s seat and a loaded semi-automatic 9mm handgun, per CBP. The handgun was hidden inside a cloth bag that was attached to the frame of the vehicle.  

Border Patrol says agents seized a total of 2.45 grams of methamphetamine, 120 grams of marijuana and 50.41 grams of heroin.

To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.