Off-duty border patrol agent arrested with heroin and illegal rifle, officials say


An off-duty Border Patrol agent was arrested in Oceanside on suspicion of possessing heroin and an illegal rifle after officers found him asleep in a pickup Sunday, police and Border Patrol officials said.

Brandon Herrera, 37, was arrested about 8:45 a.m. Sunday outside an apartment complex at Los Arbolitos Boulevard and Fredricks Avenue, Oceanside police spokesman Tom Bussey said.

Police had been patrolling the complex since early April after getting a report about a suspicious man loitering near a trash bin in the complex’s parking lot.


Officers went to the complex several times. They had been told a Ford truck was parked near the bin, but they found a motorcycle parked in the spot that was registered to Herrera, Bussey said.

When police returned to the complex Sunday — their third visit — they found a man sleeping in the truck, which was parked on Fredricks near the complex.

When the officers arrested him, Herrera identified himself as a Border Patrol agent, Bussey said.

During a search of Herrera and his vehicle, officers found about 5 grams believed to be heroin and a short-barreled rifle, Bussey said. The federal agent was booked into county jail in Vista but later released.

Border Patrol officials confirmed the arrest Wednesday, but would not confirm the agent’s name. A spokesman said the agent who was arrested had been employed by the agency since August 2007 and was put on administrative leave.

“The U.S. Border Patrol serves the community with honor and integrity and has zero tolerance for illicit drug use,’’ San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott said. “Any allegation that tarnishes the badge and violates the public trust is taken seriously. We are cooperating with the investigating agency, and the employee in question has had his law enforcement authority revoked and has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.”


Kucher writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.