Border Patrol agents in San Diego arrested a 16-year-old boy early Sunday morning and have accused him of using a remote-controlled car to smuggle more than 55 pounds of meth across the U.S.-Mexico border. The boy was found by agents hiding in the bushes near the international border with the car and 50 parcels of methamphetamine valued at about $106,000.
The boy was discovered approximately one mile north of the Otay Mesa border crossing in San Diego at about 12:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. Law enforcement officials believe that the unidentified teen was working with an accomplice on the south side of the U.S. border with Mexico.
Border Patrol spokesman Theron Francisco told reporters that it is believed that the unknown accomplice loaded the packages of drugs onto the remote-controlled car before slipping it through a four-to-five-inch gap in the border fence. The vehicle was then driven several times to the teen, who was hiding nearby.
The car “would have had to make multiple runs and go back and forth a few times,” Francisco said. “There is no way he would have been able to do it in one trip.”
This isn’t the first time that smugglers transporting drugs across the international border near San Diego have resorted to using remote-controlled vehicles. In September, 2017, Jorge Edwin Rivera was convicted on drug charges for using an aerial drone to transport 13 pounds of meth across the border.
Rivera was taken into custody the month prior about two miles west of the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego after a Border Patrol agent heard the motors of the drone buzzing through the night sky. Upon investigation, agents discovered the drone hidden in the bushes. Rivera was discovered nearby with the meth, which was estimated to be worth $46,000 on the street.
Rivera told investigators that he had smuggled drugs across the border in the same manner successfully on five or six previous occasions. He also told investigators that after the drugs were flown across the border, he delivered them to a man at a nearby gas station.
Rivera pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to import methamphetamine and was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison last year.
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