september 30, 2015

Seven drug smugglers arrested, 318 pounds of marijuana seized

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Just before 5 a.m. on September 18, a PCSO detective assigned to the Anti-Smuggling Enforcement Unit observed two pickup trucks stop along Interstate 8 at mile-marker 160, and pick up drugs and smugglers. Detectives stopped both vehicles, arresting a total of seven suspects and seized 318 pounds of raw, baled marijuana.


The PCSO detective first spotted two pick-up trucks travelling together eastbound on Interstate 8. The trucks were travelling below the posted speed limit. After observing the trucks for about three miles, both trucks pulled to the shoulder of the highway, stopping for less than one minute, and then resuming eastbound travel.

The detective, suspecting the trucks had picked up drugs and smugglers, called for a second detective to assist in stopping the trucks. One truck, a 2006 silver Ford, fled from the backup detective when he attempted to stop it. The truck exited the freeway and fled south on Trekell Road for approximately three miles, then pulled to the side of the road. The two occupants fled into the desert. The detective discovered the truck was left running and found eight camouflaged-wrapped bundles of marijuana. A subsequent search for the suspects was unsuccessful.

The second truck, a 1997 white Ford, was stopped on Interstate 8. The seven occupants were detained and later identified as the driver and six smugglers from Mexico. The smugglers were dressed in dirty camouflaged clothing and wearing handmade carpet-boots that are typically worn by drug smugglers to conceal footprints in the desert.

Sheriff Paul Babeu said, “Our Anti-Smuggling Unit detectives learned from interviews with the smugglers that the group illegally crossed the U.S./Mexico border 6 days ago, carrying backpacks of marijuana. The group reached Interstate 8 the night prior and were picked up early in the morning by the two trucks.” He went on to say, “This group of smugglers, like most we arrest, were hired and supplied by Mexican drug cartels to bring drugs into the United States.”

Arrested persons: David Gabriel Mondragon-Vargas, 17-years-old. Miguel Angel Sauseda-Bernal, 26-years-old. Estaban Sauseda-Bernal, 24-years-old. Cruz Sauseda-Bernal, 21-years-old. Roman-Angulo (DOB 12/08/1979). Rosario Sauseda-Bernal, 27-years-old. Alejandro Ambriz-Cuadro, 32-years-old.

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