Cocaine Confiscated at Checkpoint; 2 Arrested

Border Patrol agents confiscated 16 pounds of cocaine in a minivan at a checkpoint and arrested two men, authorities said Tuesday.

The men, whose names were not released pending further investigation, were crossing the San Clemente Immigration Checkpoint about 5 p.m. Monday when agents decided to search their minivan, Border Patrol spokesman Jim Pilkington said.

Dogs discovered six cellophane-wrapped bundles of cocaine hidden in a compartment underneath the floorboard of the minivan, Pilkington said.

Agents seized the cocaine, estimated to be worth about $515,000, and arrested a 26-year-old Stockton man and a Guadalajara resident, also 26, on suspicion of narcotics transportation, Pilkington said.

So far this year, authorities at the San Clemente checkpoint confiscated 55 pounds of cocaine with an estimated value of $1.8 million and 4,071 pounds of marijuana worth about $3.25 million, according to Border Patrol records.

In 1995, authorities seized 164 pounds of cocaine and more than 12,000 pounds of marijuana, officials said.

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