Federal agents caught Thursday at the San Clemente checkpoint a brother-sister duo from Mexico whom they allege had 54 pounds of cocaine inside their SUV.
The pair came through the checkpoint at 7 a.m. in a 2003 Ford Explorer, according to a U.S. Border Patrol press release. They claimed to be visiting the U.S. to shop.
Drug-sniffing dogs indicated contraband may be on board, officials said.
“Agents searched the vehicle and discovered 20 bundles of narcotics hidden beneath the floor in the hatchback area of the SUV. The cocaine bundles weighed 54.01 pounds and are valued at $702,130,” the release says.
The man, 33, and his sister, 27 – whose names were not released – were handed over to Drug Enforcement Administration to face drug smuggling charges.