Mexican Boat Delivery of 1,200 Pounds of Marijuana to Laguna Beach Nets Charges

border and customs enforcement laguna bust.jpg
Crystal Cove: International narcotics port?
Eighty-five miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border in the wee hours of Feb. 4, men wearing black clothes in a 30-foot panga boat delivered 1,200 pounds of marijuana to the shore at Crystal Cove in Laguna Beach, according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) report.

Using thermal imaging equipment, ICE agents--who know the area is a hotspot for smugglers--watched a sports utility vehicle pull off Pacific Coast Highway in the area for the delivery.

The men fled into a tunnel or the hillside when approached by federal agents assigned to a border patrol task force.

Within 90 minutes the suspects were captured and transported to the Border Patrol Station in San Clemente for processing, according to an ICE report.

During interviews, one of the suspects claimed he entered the United States to watch the Super Bowl and to party with pot, beer and women--not to smuggle narcotics.

Federal prosecutors are now pursuing drug transportation charges against Fernando Valenzuela-Lopez, Victor Cervantes-Lopez, Francisco Chavez, Kevin A. Gilbert, Marcus Anthony Gilbert, Martin Gomez-Arreola and Walter Solis-Maldonado.

All the defendants are U.S. citizens except for Solis-Maldonado, Cervantes-Lopez and Valenzuela-Lopez.

Though a judge has not yet been selected for the case, a hearing is expected in March at the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.

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10 comments
Bill Gurney
Bill Gurney

Just came up a bit short of Washington.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

Yet another indication increased (land) border security is beginning to work. It's a lot more risky to put bales on a panga than to strap them onto 'mules'. Less 'throughput' too , and of course that hot panga boat engine reads like a supernova against the cold sea at night (with night vision). 

Fred G. Sanford
Fred G. Sanford

Juan Doe wanted to party with weed, booze and women...

David Anthony
David Anthony

Could have done the same thing at the Sandpiper...

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney

If it was legal, this would just be another boat docking. But no, too many stupid people are still all afraid of a God-created plant. By the way, after 40+ years, is the drug war near a successful conclusion? Not even remotely.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney

If it was legal, it'd just be another boat docking. But of course, too many stupid people fear a God-created plant. Oh, by the way, after over 40 years of fighting, is the end of the drug war near? Not at all. Keep wasting your money, America. They'll make more.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Doubt that was for the calfornia market. 

JGlanton
JGlanton topcommenter

With so much great dope being produced by California growers and developed by guys with PhD's from Berkeley, why are people even importing the crappy pot from Mexico? You can get any level of weed at any price you can afford, made in the USA.

Let's keep the jobs in America. Jobs for Californians. Stop sending jobs 'overseas'.

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