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Coordination Between Border Patrol Sectors and Office of Air and Marine Halt Ultra-Light Aircraft Narcotic Smuggling Attempt

Release Date: 
April 15, 2015

OASIS, Calif. – On Tuesday, a joint effort between U.S. Border Patrol Agents from two different Sectors and the Office of Air and Marine halted an attempt to smuggle more than 150 pounds of narcotics into the U.S. via ultra-light aircraft (ULA).

Photo of ultralight aircraft

U.S. Border Patrol agents with the El Centro Sector were directed to this ultralight aircraft near Jacumba.

At about 12:30 a.m., Border Patrol Agents assigned to the San Diego Sector’s Boulevard station were alerted by the Air and Marine Operations Center of a possible ULA illegally enter United States airspace from Mexico near Jacumba, California.  The San Diego Sector agents identified the ULA and informed El Centro Sector dispatch of the incident. 

The Office of Air and Marine (OAM) Air Interdiction Agents using both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft responded and were able to acquire the ULA.  The OAM enforcement crews informed Indio Border Patrol agents that the ULA executed an air drop of possible narcotics and observed the ULA landing near the area next to a vehicle.

The OAM enforcement crews guided U.S. Border Patrol Agents to the scene near 78th Ave. and Filmore St., where agents were able to recover the ULA.  Indio agents continued to search the area with support from the OAM air crews and were able to recover the drop cage with narcotic bundles approximately 200 yards from the ULA.

Photo of drugs seized from ultralight aircraft

Agents seized about 146 pounds of marijuana and almost 5 pounds of methamphetamine from the ultralight drop cage.

Border Patrol Agents determined that the bundles contained marijuana weighing a total of 145.7 pounds and also contained 4.8 pounds of methamphetamine.  The marijuana has an estimated street value of $87,420.  The methamphetamine has an estimated street value of $48,000.

The marijuana was seized and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

This is the third ultra-light seizure by El Centro Sector Border Patrol this year.

Last fiscal year El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents seized more than 5,700 pounds of marijuana and 445 pounds of methamphetamine. 

The El Centro Sector’s Community Awareness Campaign is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness on the indicators of crime and other threats.  We encourage public and private sector employees to remain vigilant and play a key role in keeping our country safe.  Please report any suspicious activity to the Border Community Threat Hotline at 1-800-901-2003.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017