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(USA TODAY) – An older woman with United States citizenship attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday with 92 pounds of heroin in her car, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The 81-year-old woman attempted to enter the U.S. at the Tecate port of entry — located southeast of San Diego — with the drugs, which have an estimated street value of over $870,000, CBP reports.
The drugs were hidden inside a 2011 Chrysler 200 and were found by a K-9 team, according to a news release.
Cartels are known to manipulate people into carrying drugs over the border.
“CBP officers are aware of the many tactics used by the cartels and remain ever vigilant to stop anyone attempting to smuggle narcotics,” the release quotes Pete Flores, CBP director of field operations in San Diego.
One of those tactics: Drug cartels sometimes deceive elderly people into unknowingly carrying drugs across international borders, luring them with false promises and lies. The growing trend was documented in a 2016 New York Times report.
The woman was arrested and turned over to Homeland security officers. Her vehicle was seized, according to CBP.