US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

USBP Agents Discover Illegal Marijuana Grow While Serving Arrest Warrant

Release Date: 
January 21, 2021

PERRIS, Calif. — U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents arrested three men and discovered 481 marijuana plants on Wednesday while serving an arrest warrant stemming from a maritime smuggling investigation.

Illegal grow
Agents discovered a 481 plant, illegal
marijuana grow while chasing a wanted

The incident began on Wednesday, when agents conducted a targeted arrest of the man who was wanted for illegal re-entry after deportation and suspected of being involved in maritime smuggling.  The man was driving a Toyota Tacoma near Perris, California and agents followed him to a rural area. 

When the agents attempted to make contact, the man fled on foot.  After a short chase, the agents apprehended the 35-year old Mexican national and confirmed his identity.

While the agents pursued the man, he fled through an illegal marijuana growing operation where he was employed.  The site was being tended by two additional men, who were also found to be Mexican nationals unlawfully present in the U.S.  There were 481 marijuana plants at the site and $5,000 in U.S. currency.

The agents arrested and transported all three men to a nearby station for processing.  The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department seized the marijuana and currency.

“Agents never know what they are going to encounter in the performance of their duties,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke, “Criminals involved in smuggling activity are solely motivated by profit and often conspire in a wide range of illegal activity as illustrated by this encounter.”

Last modified: 
January 21, 2021