Car seat carrying child hid meth, heroin, cocaine, California border agents say

Methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin were discovered inside a car seat during a Southern California traffic stop this month — and a child was sitting in the seat at the time, federal authorities said.

Border Patrol agents pulled over the Nissan Sentra on Interstate 15 in Murrieta just after 6 p.m. on June 12, according to a news release on Wednesday from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. A 26-year-old U.S. man was driving the Nissan, which was also carrying two adult women and three kids, agents said.

Each of the passengers was questioned and the car was searched on the outside by a Border Patrol dog, which alerted agents to the inside of the vehicle. That’s where agents discovered “several packages of narcotics wrapped in cellophane and hidden inside one of the children’s car seat(s) and stroller,” according to Customs and Border Protection.

There were 23 packages in the vehicle: about 32 pounds of meth, 2 pounds of cocaine and 5 pounds of heroin, according to federal authorities. Those drugs would sell for nearly $102,000 total on the street, agents estimated.

Questioning revealed that a 26-year-old U.S. woman had hidden the drugs, agents said, adding that she was arrested and passed on to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office.

The car was returned to the man driving it and the children were released to the other woman in the car, who was the kids’ 32-year-old aunt, agents said.

San Diego Sector border agents have seized more than 990 pounds of cocaine, 2,500 pounds of meth and 195 pounds of heroin worth a total of $18 million since October, according to the news release Wednesday.

Border Patrol wouldn’t name the woman arrested in the traffic stop.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.