Smuggler, 81 Years Old, Is Nabbed at Border with $870,000 of Heroin

Drug 'cartels will try and manipulate anyone' to sneak drugs into the U.S. from Mexico, says San Diego CBP official

An 81-year-old woman was busted attempting to smuggle 92 pounds of heroin — valued at more than $870,000 — across the U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego, officials said.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection detector dog at the Tecate border crossing reportedly alerted officers Wednesday to the driver-side rocker panel of a 2011 Chrysler 200 trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico at about 11:30 a.m.

In the side rocker panels, officers said they discovered 34 wrapped packages of heroin.

The woman, who authorities said is an American citizen but did not otherwise identify, was arrested and turned over to Homeland Security. CBP officers seized the vehicle.

San Diego Customs and Border Protection Director of Field Operations Pete Flores said in a statement that drug “cartels will try and manipulate anyone to smuggle their narcotics through the ports of entry.”

Related: Colorado Heroin Ring Arrests Highlight Illegals’ Role in U.S. Crime

“CBP officers are aware of the many tactics used by the cartels and remain ever vigilant to stop anyone attempting to smuggle narcotics,” he added.

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(photo credit, article image: Cars Waiting to Cross the Border, CC BY 3.0, by Alen Ištoković)