Border Patrol: Man smuggled $500K+ worth of cocaine while traveling with wife, infant son

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. -- Border Patrol officials on Thursday, Feb. 6 arrested a man they said smuggled more than $500,000 worth of cocaine while traveling with his wife and infant son.

According to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, agents approached the couple and asked for consent to search their vehicle. The man agreed, and agents discovered a duffel bag in the trunk that contained 20 brick-shaped packages of cocaine. Agents also discovered an additional package of cocaine tucked inside a shopping bag near the infant’s car seat.

Officials said the 21 bundles of cocaine weighed 51.25 pounds, with an estimated street value of $512,500.

While the driver was being questioned, officials said his wife indicated she needed to use the restroom and she went into the shopping center with her infant. They did not return, and agents later located them a quarter-mile away.

All three were taken to a nearby Border Patrol station for further investigation.

The driver, a 34-year-old U.S. citizen, was later arrested. He and the narcotics were turned over to the Orange County Drug Enforcement Administration office.

The mother and infant were released.

The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.