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Border Patrol officers seize drugs during stopover in Riverside County
In a significant drug bust, U.S. Border Patrol agents on June 23, 2017, seized illegal drugs worth more than $800,000 stashed in a 2014 Ford Focus, which they stopped on the Interstate 15 (I-15) near Temecula in southwestern Riverside County.
While searching the vehicle, a drug-sniffing dog alerted the officers of the Border Patrol office in Murrieta, Riverside County about the presence of drugs, which led to the discovery and subsequent seizure of 58 bundles of narcotics concealed in the car. Later, the agents arrested the female driver, a U.S. citizen whose name they didn’t disclose, on charges of narcotics trafficking. On the whole, the officers seized 10.5 pounds of black tar heroin, 46.6 pounds of methamphetamine, 39.7 pounds of cocaine and the vehicle, media reports said.
I-15 is one of many drug corridors in US
Beginning near the United States-Mexico border in San Diego County and stretching north to Alberta in Canada, I-15 runs through the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho and Montana forming one of the major drug corridors used by traffickers to transport illegal substances. The modus operandi of Mexican drug traffickers is to slip large consignments of drugs, such as black tar heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine past border control agents by blending in with the millions of legitimate vehicles plying on these routes.
Further, once the drugs make their way into American territory, they are re-packaged in the numerous stash houses in Phoenix and San Diego, before heading to other major cities in the north and in the Midwest via Interstate 70 or Interstate 80. Border Patrol agents posted on the interstate highways across the length and breadth of the U.S. believe hunting drug traffickers on American interstates is like a big chess game. They believe that in a bid to outsmart law enforcement agencies, smugglers have started using clandestine compartments in vehicles.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), members of Mexico’s infamous Sinaloa cartel push large quantities of illegal drugs into different stash houses scattered across Riverside County, which are usually intended for distribution in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.
Government officials suspect an intricate network of links between distributors, traffickers, transporters and criminal gangs using different Interstate highways that transport truckloads of commercial commodities and agricultural produce from Mexico. “We are almost like the Costco warehouse of narcotic dealers, shipping this poison across the country,” said Frank Pepper, assistant special agent in charge of the Riverside DEA Office.
Leading a drug-free life
If you or your loved one is grappling with addiction to heroin, meth or any other substance, seek treatment immediately. The Riverside Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can help you avail one of the best addiction treatment programs and embark on your journey to sobriety. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 951-221-4018 for more information on different treatment options in your vicinity.