737 Pounds of Cocaine Seized in Border Stop
Authorities seized 737 pounds of cocaine at the U.S.-Mexico border as smugglers in two pickup trucks attempted to bring the contraband into the United States, officials said Friday.
The seizures, with a street value of $38 million, were among the largest ever recorded along the 180-mile border between California and Mexico, and it culminates a series of major border interdictions in recent months.
Despite the recent large-scale seizures, federal and local authorities were hesitant Friday to declare that there was any surge in the volume of cocaine being shipped across the notoriously porous border, which has long been a favored entry point for traffickers. The large seizures, officials said, may just reflect more successful interdiction efforts.
Ronald S. Garibotto, an assistant special agent in charge with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in San Diego, dismissed speculation that increased regulatory pressure in the Florida area may have prompted some traffickers to divert their routes to the California border area--a scenario that has occurred in the past.
Moreover, officials said that the seizure, while significant, would not put a serious dent in the nation’s multibillion-dollar cocaine supply network.