OASIS, Calif. – On Tuesday, a joint effort between U.S. Border Patrol Agents from two different Sectors and the Office of Air and Marine halted an attempt to smuggle more than 150 pounds of narcotics into the U.S. via ultra-light aircraft (ULA).
At about 12:30 a.m., Border Patrol Agents assigned to the San Diego Sector’s Boulevard station were alerted by the Air and Marine Operations Center of a possible ULA illegally enter United States airspace from Mexico near Jacumba, California. The San Diego Sector agents identified the ULA and informed El Centro Sector dispatch of the incident.
The Office of Air and Marine (OAM) Air Interdiction Agents using both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft responded and were able to acquire the ULA. The OAM enforcement crews informed Indio Border Patrol agents that the ULA executed an air drop of possible narcotics and observed the ULA landing near the area next to a vehicle.
The OAM enforcement crews guided U.S. Border Patrol Agents to the scene near 78th Ave. and Filmore St., where agents were able to recover the ULA. Indio agents continued to search the area with support from the OAM air crews and were able to recover the drop cage with narcotic bundles approximately 200 yards from the ULA.
Border Patrol Agents determined that the bundles contained marijuana weighing a total of 145.7 pounds and also contained 4.8 pounds of methamphetamine. The marijuana has an estimated street value of $87,420. The methamphetamine has an estimated street value of $48,000.
The marijuana was seized and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
This is the third ultra-light seizure by El Centro Sector Border Patrol this year.