Border Patrol agents arrested two women and their passengers Tuesday following the discovery in their cars of thousands of dollars in methamphetamine at the Interstate 15 checkpoint south of Temecula.
At about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, agents stopped a 43-year-old woman driving a 1997 Acura Integra; agents suspicious of the Mexican-born woman and her passenger -- another woman -- brought in a drug-sniffing dog, Border Patrol officials said.
The dog alerted agents to something near the front and in the back of the car.
A search of the vehicle yielded three pounds of methamphetamine in a fire extinguisher on the floor, behind the driver's seat, according to a Border Patrol news release.
Agents also found a second fire extinguisher in the car's trunk. That extinguisher contained another three pounds of the drug, officials said.
The estimated street value of that haul was $120,000, according to officials.
Agents seized another drug haul a few hours later -- at about 1:15 p.m. -- when they stopped another car, this one a 1997 Ford Escort driven by a 19-year-old woman.
Agents suspicious of the U.S.-born driver and her woman passenger brought in a drug-sniffing dog to do a cursory inspection, officials said.
The canine alerted agents to the presence of drugs; a search uncovered 12 bundles of methamphetamine inside the spare tire.
The drugs weighed 15.32 pounds and had an estimated street value of $306,400, officials said.
Coupled with three other searches and seizures this so far week at other checkpoints in San Diego and San Clemente, the total haul came to $1.5 million, officials said.