Man caught with 50 pounds of meth ID’d himself as Mexican police officer, deputies say

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A man who identified himself as a police officer from Mexico was caught with 50 pounds of methamphetamine in his car while traveling on Interstate 5 between Orange and San Diego counties in Southern California, authorities announced Wednesday.

A deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department stopped Miguel Patron for vehicle code violations on the northbound side of the highway on Tuesday, according to the agency.

Patron, a 41-year-old Ensenada man, said he was a police officer from Mexico and handed the deputy an ID, the sheriff’s department said.

The agency said Patron was “extremely nervous,” and that the deputy recognized signs suggesting criminal activity.

After the man consented to have his vehicle search, the deputy, with help from a narcotic detection dog, discovered a compartment that contained more than 50 pounds of meth, according to the sheriff’s department.

Patron was detained on suspicion of transporting a controlled substance and use of a hidden compartment to conceal a controlled substance, officials said.

He was booked into the San Diego County jail without any incident on $200,000 bail.

Authorities provided no further information.