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Border Patrol agents find some $400,000 in drugs during Temecula traffic stop, arrest driver

MURRIETA — A 36-year-old man allegedly caught by Border Patrol agents transporting 40 pounds of cocaine and heroin into Riverside County was being held Monday in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Raymond Steven Gonzalez was arrested Sunday morning and booked at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of possession of drugs for sale, transportation of controlled substances in excess of 20 pounds and possession of cocaine, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

About 11:15 a.m. that day, two Murrieta-based agents traveling northbound on Interstate 15 through Temecula spotted Gonzalez’s 2003 Ford Expedition swerving in and out of lanes erratically and began tailing him, according to agency spokeswoman Mary Caston. As the suspect transitioned from Temecula Parkway onto state Route 79, the officers initiated a traffic stop, and Gonzalez pulled the SUV onto the shoulder of the roadway, she said.

A K-9 was deployed to check the Ford and immediately signaled his handler that drugs were present, Caston said. She alleged that 14 bundles of cocaine and two bundles of black tar heroin, altogether weighing within a fraction of 40 pounds, were seized from behind a driver’s side quarter panel inside the SUV.

The estimated street value of the haul was $400,700, according to Caston.

Gonzalez was taken into custody without a struggle. Officials didn’t say where Gonzalez lives, but said he’s a U.S. citizen.

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