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U.S. Border Patrol to Ramp Up Enforcement in East County

Release Date: 
June 17, 2016

SAN DIEGO—The San Diego Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol will bolster its enforcement presence along the border in East County through a vigorous enforcement operation that launched on June 12.

The operation, named Campaign Eastern Front, was developed to significantly impact Smuggling Organizations operating in the East County and create a safer border environment; particularly during the months of severe weather in East County.  These entrenched and sometimes violent local smugglers in the Tecate, Baja California-Jardines Del Rincon, Ejido Chula Vista, Jacume, and El Hongo areas utilize transportation cells in the U.S. that employ dangerous and reckless tactics.  The smugglers in Mexico pay for protection and are associated to cartels who at a minimum condone their actions.       

Historically, smuggling organizations that operate in East County have resorted to life-endangering criminal activity on both sides of the border, including rocking and assaulting Border Patrol agents, wrong-way driving on freeways, and robbing and kidnapping migrants.

Richard Barlow, Chief Patrol Agent of the San Diego Sector, said, “We are taking a proactive and deliberate approach to address our concerns in the East County to ensure that the violent incidents that we have unfortunately experienced in the past do not occur in the future.”

The Border Patrol in concert with authorities from the government of Mexico will work to coordinate a presence in specific border areas and target identified smuggling networks, from point of origin to destination.  Locally, multi-agency enforcement operations, which will include the El Centro Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol, will also take place during the course of the campaign.  

Another key component of the campaign will involve the support of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which will focus prosecutorial efforts on individuals suspected to be involved in smuggling activity in the East County.

To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on 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.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017