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Places in a Car That Smugglers Try to Hide Things

It is no surprise that south of the United States border, there are a lot of people trying to find ways to get Americans to part with their cash. Sometimes that means smuggling illegal substances across the border to them. Everyday US Border Patrol agents and their K9 partners inspect untold numbers of vehicles to prevent this illegal smuggling. In some of those traffic stops, the agents, or their furry K9 friends, find some of those illegal substances creatively stashed in vehicles. Here are a few places in a vehicle things have turned up.

Tire-Drugs - US Customs and Border Protection
Drugs found within tires by US Customs and Border Protection agents | US Customs and Border Protection

In the tires

Yesterday, a man in Texas was pulled over and inspected by Border Patrol. They found the 24-year-old driver was transporting a mix of packages totaling nearly 52 pounds, of black tar heroin and methamphetamine. The street value for the total bust is just over $4 million. They found all these packages in the tires of the driver’s F-150. Apparently, that is a common tactic used by smugglers.

Authorities had this to say about the incident, 

“This was definitely a significant interception of hard narcotics that our frontline officers accomplished this weekend,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Port of Hidalgo/Pharr/ Anzalduas. “Keeping drugs out of our communities is a top priority for CBP Field Operations.”

Stashing contraband in tires of a vehicle is not the only tactic smugglers have attempted in the past. A quick search on the internet turned up a website documenting recent instances of US Border Patrol inspections near San Diego that have turned up in different parts of vehicles. 

Meth Found in Minivan Seats
Meth Found in Minivan Seats by US Customs and Border Protection | US Customs and Border Protection

The seats

On April 13th, agents found contraband inside, and underneath a driver’s front seats. The stash totaled seventy pounds. Estimated street value: $786,450

Hidden compartment in trunk
Hidden compartment in the trunk, full of illegal substances | US Customs and Border Protection

The trunk

On January 16th, agents found illegal substances in a hidden trunk compartment of a Honda Civic. Total weight was 14 pounds of assorted substances, with an estimated street value of $553,225

Drugs found in a gas tank
Drugs found in a gas tank | US Department of Homeland Security

The gas tank

On January 10th, US Border Patrol agents found 96 packages drugs inside the gas tank, spare tire, inside the quarter panels of a Ford Explorer. The estimated street value is $191,900.

Marijuana in Jalapenos boxes
Marijuana in Jalapenos boxes | US Customs and Border Protection

In produce boxes

During October 25th, a tractor-trailer load was inspected after a K9 unit alerted authorities. The agents turned up some spicy results. Packaged inside boxes of jalapenos was 527 pounds of marijuana. The street value is $211,000.

Drugs found in the air intake box
Drugs found in the air intake box | US Customs and Border Protection

The air intake box

Border Patrol agents also uncovered brown heroin being transported in the engine compartment of a Chevrolet pickup on October 22nd. There were 4.85 pounds of material with a street value of $127,200 found in the air intake box

Red and black jumper cables attached to car battery terminals
A car battery and jumper cables | Christophe Gateau/picture alliance via Getty Images

Fake car parts

On August 7th, agents inspected a vehicle and discovered it had a fake car battery stuffed with several pounds of illegal substances. 

Drugs discovered in a rear differential
Drugs discovered in a rear differential | US Border Patrol

Rear differential

An SUV was being inspected by agents when a K9 unit alerted them to 11 packages that were concealed inside the vehicle’s rear differential. The street value for the product is over $101,000.

The stories go on and on revealing that illegal substances have been found in various other vehicle parts such as rocker panels, roof panels, doors, tailgates, mufflers, bumpers, and under false floors. Using creativity to make money is not a bad thing unless it is used to break the law. Unfortunately, the drivers of these vehicles thought long and hard to come up with creative solutions to their need to transport illegal substances. Although they came up with inconspicuous ways to do it, their time would have been better spent transporting approved products. Instead, their time in the slammer will have them reflecting for a long time of the error of their ways.