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U.S. Border Patrol agents uncovered 36 pounds of cocaine hidden in the doors of a car in a San Clemente rest area, authorities said today.
Agents discovered the contraband Wednesday evening after following the driver, who was displaying suspicious behavior while traveling north on Interstate 5, said Agent Mark Endicott.
The agents followed the Ford Crown Victoria into the rest area and started a casual conversation with the driver, a 22-year-old male Mexican national. Agents learned the driver was traveling in the country illegally, and after a K-9 team searched the car, they discovered 13 bundles of cocaine hidden in the door panels.
The cocaine had an estimated street value of $360,000. The suspected smuggler was turned over to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.