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Mom driving van full of kids arrested at border with 231 pounds of drugs

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© Hayne Palmour IV/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS With the U.S./Mexico border fence in the foreground, trucks from Mexico go through the Mexican export facility before going into the U.S. by way of the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility in San Diego, Calif…

By Kristina Davis, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Tribune News Service
SAN DIEGO

A mother shuttling five of her children across the border in a minivan was arrested this week after authorities uncovered 231 pounds of drugs hidden throughout the vehicle, officials said.

The 34-year-old woman was driving a Honda Odyssey from Mexico through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry just after midnight Monday when she and her five kids were stopped for further examination, said U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The CBP officer found some initial discrepancies and sent the minivan through a large imaging system, which found anomalies in the spare tire well, quarter panels, doors and gas tank, officials said. Officers eventually retrieved 206 wrapped packages - a combination of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. The drugs were valued at just over $1 million in street value, CBP said.

The woman, whose name was not released, was booked into the county's women's jail in Santee, indicating possible state charges in the case rather than federal. The children were handed over to a family member. CBP officials did not disclose the ages of the kids or provide additional details.

"CBP has seen many forms of drug smuggling through the years," said Pete Flores, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego. "The hardest ones are when adults include their children in attempted smuggling schemes."

Visit The San Diego Union-Tribune at www.sandiegouniontribune.com

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Mom driving van full of kids arrested at border with 231 pounds of drugs
Mom driving van full of kids arrested at border with 231 pounds of drugs
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