Heroin worth an estimated $66,120 was confiscated Monday at the Interstate 15 U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint south of Murrieta.
The heroin—packaged in five bundles—was allegedly found hidden inside the engine of a 2001 Ford Escort, said San Diego Border Patrol Sector Spokesperson Mary Beth Caston, in a news release.
At about 10 a.m. Monday, agents referred the driver of the Ford, a 21-year-old male U.S. citizen, to secondary inspection when they "became suspicious of (his) nervous demeanor," Caston said.
A Border Patrol K-9 team conducted a cursory inspection of the car, resulting in an alert, she said.
"Agents searched the vehicle and discovered five bundles of heroin inside a compartment disguised to resemble a valve cover," Caston said.
The heroin weighed 5.51 pounds with an estimated street value of $66,120, she said.
The suspected smuggler—whose name was not provided—and narcotics were taken into custody and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation, she said.
The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol, she said.