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Ultralight Aircraft Incursion Leads Border Patrol to Meth Seizure

Release Date: 
December 17, 2019

BOMBAY BEACH, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents tracked an ultralight aircraft that made a cross-border incursion from Mexico that lead to a drug seizure and the arrest of four individuals early Friday morning.


The incident occurred at approximately 9:35 p.m., Thursday night when agents observed an ultralight aircraft fly over the international border from Mexico into U.S. airspace.  The aircraft was operating without any lights.  Agents on the ground were able to track the aircraft’s route and observed the aircraft descend just north of Bombay Beach before gaining altitude and flying back towards Mexico. 


Agents responded to the location and were assisted by a California Highway Patrol fixed wing aircraft, which observed utility vehicles leaving the immediate area.  Agents responded to the location and observed the two utility vehicles and attempted to perform an off road traffic stop.

Agents arrested four people after an ultralight incursion.
This utility vehicle, and another, was
used in a drug smuggling incident
that involved an ultralight aircraft.


At this time, the lead vehicle occupied by two individuals yielded to the emergency lights of the Border Patrol unit.  The second vehicle also occupied by two individuals launched into the adjacent Coachella Canal.  Agents encountered two individuals that were traveling in second vehicle and conducted an investigative interview.  Subsequently, bundles of what appeared to be narcotics were discovered in the vehicle.  All four individuals were arrested on suspicion they received narcotics delivered by the ultralight aircraft.


At the station, agents unpacked 26 duct taped bundles weighing 184 pounds containing white powder-like substance that tested positive for the characteristics of methamphetamine with an estimated value of $736,000.


The four subjects and the narcotics, were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.


Last modified: 
December 17, 2019