U.S. Border Patrol Prevents Two Drug Smuggling Attempts; One by Land, One by Sea
SAN DIEGO—U.S. Border Patrol agents in two separate events seized illicit drugs valued at more than two million dollars on Monday, Feb. 4.
The first event occurred when Border Patrol agents were patrolling the Southern California coastline around midnight and observed a panga style fishing boat off the coast of El Moro Bay in Laguna Beach, Calif. The panga boat came ashore near Crystal Cove State Park. Agents observed seven men exiting the boat and unload bundles onto the beach. Two additional men exited a nearby GMC Yukon vehicle and assisted in unloading the bundles from the panga. Agents responded to the beach and were able to detain nine men and recovered twenty-six bundles of marijuana. The twenty-six bundles weighed 1,196.8 pounds and had an estimated street value of $1,795,200.
All nine suspects and the narcotics were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation. The GMC Yukon and panga were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
The second event occurred at around 4:18 p.m., when Border Patrol agents at the I-8 checkpoint in Pine Valley, Calif., encountered a 21-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a 2003 Nissan Maxima. The man was referred for a secondary inspection. A Border Patrol K-9 team performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle resulting in a positive alert. Agents searched the vehicle and discovered 10 packages of bath salts narcotics in two aftermarket compartments under the front seats. The packages weighed 23.28 pounds and had an estimated street value of $209,520.
The suspected smuggler and narcotics were turned over to a San Diego County Narcotics Task Force for further investigation. The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on major corridors of egress away from our Nation's borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.