Border Patrol confiscates $2.4 million in narcotics by land and sea
June 16th 2012 · 8 Comments
Law enforcement officials disrupted three drug smuggling efforts in San Diego and Ventura Counties the past few days. Border Patrol agents apprehended a total of 22 suspects and confiscated approximately $2.4 million in marijuana and crystal methamphetamine.
The California National Guardsmen working with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) alerted area Border Patrol agents assigned along the state’s coastline to a suspicious panga-style boat coming ashore near Deer Creek beach in Ventura County. Working with several law enforcement agencies, U.S. Coast Guard, California National Guard, California State Parks and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, agents captured 20 suspected drug smugglers and seized marijuana with a reported street value of $2 million.
“Border Patrol agents responded to the scene and, through the collaborative efforts of several agencies, arrested 20 suspected smugglers and confiscated 4,087 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $2,048,095,”according to the CBP. All the suspects, narcotics, and the panga-boat were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI) for further investigation.
In another incident Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate 5 checkpoint encountered two male American citizens driving a Mazda 626. The men’s nervous demeanor alerted agents who sent the vehicle to the secondary inspection area. After Border Patrol K-9 performed a cursory inspection, the dogs warned agents to a positive scent for illegal drugs.
“Agents searched the vehicle and discovered four bundles of methamphetamine inside the trunk in plastic grocery bags,” according to Michael Jimenez, a CBP supervisor in San Diego. “The methamphetamine weighed 12.02 pounds and had an estimated street value of $240,400.” Both the suspected smugglers and the illegal narcotics were taken into custody and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for further investigation.
The final incident occurred just north of the I-5 checkpoint at a fast food restaurant parking lot. A Border Patrol K-9 team happened to be patrolling in the area of the restaurant when the dogs alerted agents to a positive drug scent. “As the agent exited his vehicle, the K-9 alerted him to the trunk of a nearby silver 2011 Toyota Camry. A subsequent search of the trunk revealed nine bundles of marijuana,” Jimenez said. “The bundles weighed 231.28 pounds and had an estimated street value of $115,690. The marijuana and vehicle were taken into custody and turned over to ICE HSI for further investigation.”
Border Patrol encourages citizens to contact the San Diego U.S. Coast Guard Joint Harbor Operations Center at 800-854-9834 to report any suspicious maritime activity along Southern California’s coastline.
A version of this column originally appeared in www.examiner.com.
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