Los Angeles/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 23, 2024
29 Pounds of Fentanyl Found in Mom's Mini-Van with Children in Tow on I-10Source: US Customs and Border Protection

A woman driving with her two kids was busted with a staggering 29 pounds of fentanyl on Interstate 10, Border Patrol agents slapped the cuffs on the smuggler last Wednesday. The arresting agents were part of Operation Apollo, a mission aimed at stopping the torrent of deadly drugs into the U.S., and they became suspicious when the woman's SUV braked sharply while passing them near Golf Center Parkway, as reported by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Upon stopping the vehicle, the driver claimed U.S. citizenship. However, the woman along with her two minor children, who were verified citizens, had their cover blown by record checks revealing her as an undocumented alien and her inconsistency led the Border Patrol agents down a path of further scrutiny. A sniffer dog brought to the scent of something off signaled to the backseat, where agents found a box that seemed deceptively mundane outside but concealed deadly fentanyl.

The driver's refusal to consent to their probing did little to thwart agents as they delved into the shelves. Their insistence was met with the discovery of M-30 marked blue pills that tested positive for fentanyl, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Chief Patrol Agent Gregory Bovino lamented the cruel tactics used by smugglers, "This particular undocumented smuggler used two children in the smuggling scheme which is horrifying.  No regard for human life here folks, only greed," he stated.

Agents wrapped up their investigation by handing over the suspect, the illicit cargo, and the vehicle to Riverside County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Bureau while the children were safely delivered to their father. This incident highlights the ongoing battle waged by Operation Apollo since its inception in late 2023 against the backdrop of a ravaging opioid epidemic as mentioned by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.