Agents noticed the tire was heavier than normal and later found 15 cellophane-wrapped packages containing blue pills.
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (KABC) -- A Border Patrol canine sniffed out 38 pounds of fentanyl hidden in a spare tire during a vehicle stop in San Clemente.
It happened last Thursday along the 5 Freeway near the Vista Hermosa Highway exit.
Agents assigned to the San Clemente Border Patrol Station conducted a vehicle stop on a grey sedan when the canine smelled something near the trunk. Agents noticed the spare tire was heavier than normal and later found 15 cellophane-wrapped packages containing blue pills, authorities said. Tests later confirmed the presence of fentanyl.
Border Patrol officials said the pills have an estimated street value of $1.7 million.
The driver along with the pills were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration and the vehicle was seized by Border Patrol.
The seizure is part of the recently announced Operation Apollo, a joint regional operation comprised of federal, state, and local agencies working to combat the fentanyl crisis.