EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Border Patrol agents arrested a woman who had a load of meth and her two children inside her SUV, U.S. and Customs and Border Protection said in a news release.
Border agents conducted a traffic stop just before 3 a.m. Friday on Interstate 15 near Murrieta, California.
Agents said a drug-sniffing dog alerted them to possible narcotics inside the 2005 Mitsubishi Endeavor, which was being driven by a 30-year-old woman from the U.S.
Agents searched the vehicle and discovered 43.21 pounds of methamphetamine wrapped in 17 cellophane packages under the passenger seat.
The woman’s two young children were also inside the vehicle. They were released to the custody of their father.
“Drug smugglers use children as a diversion,” San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison said in a statement. “I am proud of our agents’ dedication. They diligently safeguard children from being used as decoys to benefit transnational criminal organizations.”
The woman was arrested and turned over to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office for further investigation, while the Border Patrol seized the vehicle.
The drugs had an estimated street value of $82,000, investigators said.