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California Briefing / Mission Viejo

$500K of pot found in SUV

October 16, 2009|Andrew Blankstein

U.S. Border Patrol agents seized more than $500,000 in marijuana stuffed into a sport utility vehicle on Interstate 5 near San Clemente.

An agent patrolling the area Wednesday afternoon spotted the 2002 Toyota Sequoia with what appeared to be excessive weight in its cargo area, Border Patrol officials said in a statement, noting that there was so much weight it was "affecting the vehicle's driving performance."

When the agent pulled over the driver near the Oso Parkway exit in Mission Viejo, he saw bundles of marijuana inside. In all, 30 bundles of the drug, weighing nearly a ton, were removed.

The street value was estimated at $503,712.

Authorities arrested a 25-year-old Mexican national, whose name was not immediately released.

-- Andrew Blankstein

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