Packages of Huggies wipes, a roll of towels and a stack of gloves served as hiding places for thousands of dollars in cash found in a vehicle at the I-15 Border Patrol checkpoint this week.
In addition to the money -- $17,863 was found in a 2009 Econoline Van heading south -- agents also found 19 pounds of methampetamine hidden in a car heading north, according to Agent Scott Simon.
About 3 p.m., Tuesday, a U.S. citizen and his Mexican-national girlfriend were caught allegedly smuggling drugs into Riverside County by Border Patrol agents staffing the Interstate 15 checkpoint just outside Temecula, officials said.
The 20-year-old man and his 18-year-old girlfriend were stopped while in a 2006 Mercury Montego, according to Agent Scott Simon.
The reason the car was stopped was not revealed.
"We don't reveal investigative techniques," Simon told Patch.
The two allegedly had 19 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a tire stuffed in the trunk, with a street value of almost $375,000, according to Simon.
Agents on scene used a drug-sniffing dog to perform a quick inspection of the car and following the pooch's cue, searched for and located 17 vacuum-sealed bundles of the drug, Simon wrote.
The man was turned over to the custody of the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration and the woman was turned over to the Department of Homeland
Security for deportation proceedings, Simon said.
The car was seized by the agents.
Earlier the same day, agents stopped the van, occupied by a 35-year-old U.S. man and his 36-year-old passenger, a Mexican man, officials said.
A dog was brought out and according to Simon, sniffed out the money, which most likely had drug residue on it.
"Generally they (dogs) sniff money and guns or drugs and humans," Simon told Patch.
"If the dog alerted it's probably because there was some sort of narcotics residue on the money."
Agents found $17,863 hidden inside the wipes, shop towels and gloves.
The suspects were booked into the Riverside County Jail in Vista and the cash and van were seized as assets.