Border Patrol canine discovers 38 pounds of fentanyl hidden in spare tire

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — Border Patrol agents in Southern California, aided by a canine named Mya, seized more than 38 pounds of fentanyl last week.

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According to a news release issued on Tuesday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the San Clemente Border Patrol Station on Jan. 18 conducted a vehicle stop on a gray sedan heading northbound on Interstate 5.

Border Patrol agents deployed a canine unit to conduct an “air sniff” of the vehicle, and a police dog named Mya alerted them to the possible presence of narcotics.

Agents searching the vehicle noticed that its spare tire appeared to be heavier than normal and transported the car to the San Clemente Border Patrol Station for further inspection, the news release stated.

At the station, agents discovered 15 cellophane-wrapped packages containing blue pills inside the spare. The pills were tested and confirmed to contain fentanyl.

The pills weighed approximately 38 pounds, and officials estimated the street value of the narcotics at $1.72 million, according to the news release.

The driver and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for federal prosecution, officials said. The vehicle was confiscated by Border Patrol agents.

“Even in small amounts, this deadly drug can cause havoc on the people who fall victim,” Chief Patrol Agent Patricia D. McGurk-Daniel said in a statement. “The U.S. Border Patrol is committed to stopping these criminals and will continue to leverage all available resources to target and dismantle their organizations.”

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