Border Patrol agents in California announced this week that they've arrested a man who was caught with over $500,000 worth of cocaine in the car he was traveling in with his wife and infant son.
According to a release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, agents observed a suspicious vehicle speeding past them and weaving in and out of traffic at around 85 mph, in San Clemente, California, on Thursday. At one point, the vehicle pulled off and stopped at a shopping mall, where the driver was confronted by agents who asked him for consent to search his car.
The man agreed to the search and agents found a duffel bag in the car truck that contained 20 brick-shaped packages of cocaine. A second bag filled with cocaine was discovered tucked inside a shopping bag near the infant's car seat.
In total, agents found 21 packages of cocaine that weighed over 51 lbs combined. Authorities estimated its street value at $512,500.
While agents were questioning the man, his wife asked for permission to take their infant son to a bathroom inside the mall, saying she needed to use the restroom. After the pair did not return, agents located them about a quarter mile away from where they arrested her husband.
The driver, identified only as a 34-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested and turned over to the Orange County Drug Enforcement Administration office along with the narcotics, the agency's statement said. The mother and the infant were both released.
Authorities have seized more than 388,900 pounds of cocaine at border crossings or in domestic field operations between 2012 and 2018, according to the latest data from the Congressional Research Service.