Mom with van full of kids busted at border with $1 million in drugs

A mother with a minivan full of children was arrested at the California border Monday after U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents discovered 231 pounds of drugs hidden throughout her vehicle, according to news reports.

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The 34-year-old woman was returning from Mexico through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry after midnight in a Honda Odyssey with five children when she was stopped at the San Diego crossing and her van searched, KSWB-TV reported.

Borders officers used an imaging system on the van and found "anomalies" in the gas tank, spare tire well, doors and quarter panels, according to KSWB. Upon a closer inspection, they discovered more than 200 packages containing heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine with a street value of more than $1 million, CBP officials said.

The woman was arrested, and the children were placed in the custody of relatives.

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

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