Agents Thwart Human Smuggling Attempt, Apprehend Driver with Drugs and Illegal Firearm

Blythe, Calif. – Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Blythe station thwarted a human smuggling attempt at the Highway 78 immigration checkpoint on June 23, and discovered the driver of the vehicle was in possession of dangerous drugs and an illegal firearm.

Agents inspecting a BMW sedan at the checkpoint located northwest of Yuma near Palo Verde, Calif., discovered that two females sitting in the back seat were Mexican nationals illegally present in the United States.

The driver of the vehicle, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen from Anaheim, California, was directed to pull into the checkpoint’s secondary inspection area for further investigation. During the secondary inspection, a canine alerted agents to drugs in the vehicle.

Agents discovered 0.72 grams of heroin, four grams of methamphetamine, over three grams of marijuana, 10 pieces of drug paraphernalia, and a cache of potentially fake and stolen credit cards, driver’s licenses, and other forms of identification, as well as a printer machine that may have been used to make fraudulent documents. In addition, agents found a loaded firearm that was unidentifiable due to the make and model number being shaved off.

The Border Patrol conducted record checks on the driver and the front passenger, who was also a U.S. citizen, and found they had multiple felony convictions for burglary and receiving stolen property, DUI/hit and run and possession of dangerous drugs, respectively.

The driver of the vehicle was turned over to local law enforcement and the two Mexican nationals were processed and returned to Mexico under the Title 42 directive. The front passenger, a 52-year-old male from Riverside, Calif., was processed for his involvement in the alien smuggling case.

As of press June 26, Customs and Border Patrol Press Officer Robert Daniels had not provided the names of the individuals detained, nor whether any of them were named Hunter Biden.

Posted June 26, 2021

Arizona State Troopers Seize More Than $6 Million in Illegal Drugs in Two Traffic Stops (That Somehow Made It Across the Border)

2021-05-15 Arizona State Troopers Seize $6 Million in Illegal Drugs 800x600

Arizona State Troopers seized more than $6 million in illegal drugs on May 15 and 18.

An Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) Canine District trooper stopped the driver of a tractor-trailer on Interstate 10 westbound at milepost 237, near Marana, for multiple violations on Saturday night, May 15.

Inside the truck cab, troopers discovered 44.9 pounds of heroin, 40 pounds of fentanyl pills and 21.4 pounds of methamphetamine stowed in backpacks and duffel bags, which had somehow escaped notice while passing through a border checkpoint in Southern Arizona. AZDPS said the estimated street value of these drugs is more than $2.5 million.

The driver, 52-year-old Jesus E. Sepulveda, of Nogales, Az., was arrested on charges including possession and transportation of narcotic drugs for sale and possession of dangerous drugs for sale.

Three days later, on Tuesday, May 18th, the same trooper stopped the driver of a passenger car heading eastbound on Interstate 10 eastbound at milepost 48, in the Salome area, for a traffic violation. Searching the vehicle, troopers found 74 pounds of fentanyl pills with an estimated street value of $3.7 million, which had also somehow made it through the southern border.

The driver, 21-year-old Andrew Reyna of Los Angeles, was booked into La Paz County Jail on charges of possession and transportation of a narcotic drug for sale.

2021-05-28 Jesus Sepulveda arrested for transporting millions in illegal drugs

Jesus E. Sepulveda, 52, of Nogales, Az., was arrested on charges including possession and transportation of narcotic drugs for sale.

2021-05-15 Driver Reyna Andrew arrested for transporting illegal drugs

Andrew Reyna, 21, of Los Angeles, was booked into La Paz County Jail on charges of possession and transportation of a narcotic drug for sale.

“Arizona’s Border Strike Force continues to seize significant amounts of illegal narcotics coming across the southern border,” said Gov. Doug Ducey. “Keeping these dangerous and deadly drugs out of America’s schools and neighborhoods is a heroic effort. I’m grateful to this State Trooper and all who serve the people of Arizona fighting the flow of drug smuggling and human trafficking across the border.”

The goal of the Arizona Border Strike Force (BSF) is to deter, disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations that breach the border in their quest to conduct criminal activity in our state.

The BSF operations focus on statewide roving criminal interdiction patrol details, intelligence-led remote area operations, outbound details, and deterrent saturation patrols. Specific units within the Border Strike Force Bureau include the Canine District, the Southern Investigations District, and the Vehicle Theft District.

Posted May 28, 2021

Yuma Sector Canine Sniffs Out Fentanyl; Kingman Residents Involved

YUMA, Ariz. – A Yuma Sector canine working at the immigration checkpoint on Highway 78 near Blythe, Calif., on May 13 sniffed out a sandwich bag containing fentanyl pills hidden in a suitcase.

At approximately 8 a.m., Border Patrol agents referred a Toyota Prius to the checkpoint’s secondary inspection area following a canine alert. Agents determined that the four vehicle occupants were U.S. citizens from Kingman, Az. Three of them drove to Calexico, Calif., to pick up the fourth and they were in the process of heading back to Kingman when they drove through the checkpoint.

Border Patrol agents confiscated a sandwich bag containing fentanyl pills.
Border Patrol agents confiscated a sandwich bag containing fentanyl pills.

During a search of the vehicle, agents found a plastic bag containing 77 grams of fentanyl pills, worth approximately $1,800, in a suitcase that belonged to the 32-year-old female who was picked up in Calexico. Border agents arrested the woman and seized the fentanyl.

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine but 50 to 100 times more potent. Only two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal. The female smuggler possessed the equivalent of 77,000 milligrams of fentanyl, the Border Patrol said.

Posted May 17, 2021

Border Patrol Detains Fleeing Hit and Run Suspect

MURRIETA, Calif. —  U.S. Border Patrol agents detained a convicted felon on Sunday, May 2, after he was involved in a hit and run accident.

At approximately 5:30 p.m., a Border Patrol agent arrived at the scene of a multi-vehicle car accident near the Interstate 15 immigration checkpoint.  A witness at the scene informed the agent that a man involved in the incident fled on foot before the agent arrived.  Witnesses were able to describe the man and said he was attempting to carjack someone before fleeing.

Responding agents quickly located a man, matching the description, walking along Interstate 15 north of the accident scene.  When agents stopped him for questioning, the man was uncooperative and resisted Border Patrol agents attempt to detain him.  However, the agents were able to deescalate the situation and convinced the man to comply with their orders.  He was detained by agents as they investigated the incident.

Record checks revealed that the man was a 49-year-old U.S. citizen with an extensive criminal history.  Investigating further, agents discovered the man had multiple felony and misdemeanor convictions.

California Highway Patrol (CHP), for the Temecula area, personnel arrived shortly after and took the man into custody, charging him with felony DUI and felony hit and run.

The Border Patrol declined to disclose the arrested man’s name, allegedly in case Vice President Kamala Harris decides to set him free or places him on a taxpayer-paid plane to the Midwest.

Yuma Agents Apprehend Sex Offender

YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a registered sex offender Jan. 13 after he entered the U.S. illegally.

The man was one of three Mexican nationals apprehended by Yuma Station agents at approximately 2:30 p.m. after they illegally crossed the border through the desert southeast of Yuma.  

Border Patrol truck in Yuma, AZ Record checks conducted on the three Mexican nationals revealed one of them had been arrested and prosecuted in California for having sex with a minor. He was previously removed from the U.S. following the completion of his sentence for that crime.

The man will face prosecution charges for entering the U.S. after having previously been removed, and will eventually be returned to Mexico.

Border Patrol Agents in San Diego Area Arrest Sex Offender

OTAY MESA, Calif. — San Diego Sector (SDC) Border Patrol agents on Jan. 12 arrested a sex offender who had been previously removed from the country.

At approximately 8:15 a.m., agents patrolling the border near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry encountered a man illegally present in the U.S.  Agents arrested the man for entry without inspection.  Record checks revealed that the 38-year-old Mexican national had been convicted for rape of a child in 2003 and was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison, followed by 38 months of supervised release.

Otay Mesa, Calif., border crossing near San Diego

In July 2005, the man was subsequently arrested by Border Patrol agents in New Mexico and prosecuted for criminal re-entry after removal.  After serving more than three years in prison for this offense, he was removed to Mexico in November 2008.  The man presently is being held in Federal custody pending criminal prosecution for felony illegal re-entry after removal.

“The vigilance of the men and women of the U.S Border Patrol prevented this dangerous individual from re-entering our communities and I am proud of their hard work.” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke.

Since the beginning of fiscal year 2021, SDC’s Border Patrol agents have arrested 15 sex offenders.  During fiscal year 2020, 25 sex offenders were arrested in the San Diego Sector.

Supreme Court to take up Fourth Amendment warrant case involving garage door and DUI

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will weigh in on exceptions to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement. The Fourth Amendment generally requires police officers to get a warrant before entering a home.

The Supreme Court has recognized an exception to that rule for emergencies, such as when the police are in hot pursuit of a suspect. In Lange v. California, the justices agreed to decide whether that exception applies when police are pursuing a suspect whom they believe committed a misdemeanor.

California Highway Patrol logo

The case revolves around Arthur Lange of Sonoma, Calif., who was driving home on the highway in Sonoma. California highway patrol (CHP) officer Aaron Weikert pursued Lange with the intention of conducting a traffic stop. Weikert followed Lange home and activated his overhead lights, but not his siren, when he pulled into his home’s driveway.

Lange pulled into his garage and, as the garage door began closing behind him, Weikert stopped the garage from closing with his foot and approached Lange.

The CHP officer questioned Lange and asked him if he knew Weikert was following him. Lange said no. Weikert stated he smelled alcohol on Lange’s breath and charged Lange with driving under the influence. At trial, Lange claimed that Weikert’s entry into Lange’s home violated the Fourth Amendment since the CHP officer did not have a warrant to enter Lange’s home, and moved to throw out a video recording of the incident.

The trial court rejected that argument, and a state appeals court affirmed that ruling and, eventually, his conviction.

The California Court of Appeal also upheld his conviction, rebuffing Lange’s contention that the exception to the warrant requirement for a “hot pursuit” of a suspect should apply only in genuine emergencies, rather than when the police are investigating minor offenses. Instead, the court of appeal concluded, the warrantless entry did not violate the Constitution because the officer was in hot pursuit of Lange, whom he had probable cause to arrest for a misdemeanor.

Lange appealed to the Supreme Court, asking the justices to review the state court’s decision. The lower courts are “sharply divided” on the question of whether pursuits for misdemeanors justify a warrantless entry, Lange told the justices. And the California court’s rule, he added, would allow “officers investigating trivial offenses to invade the privacy of all occupants of a home even when no emergency prevents them from seeking a warrant.”

The case will likely be scheduled for argument in February 2021 or later, according to Amy Howe, writing in Scotusblog.

Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Bill of Rights

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.