Monday, August 2, 2010
U.S. officials say they've seized a record amount of marijuana along the San Diego County coast during the last nine months. Detentions of people smuggled by sea are also up.
U.S. officials say they've seized a record amount of marijuana along the San Diego County coast during the nine months since last October. Detentions of people smuggled by sea are also up.
Federal authorities say they've seized about 25,000 pounds of marijuana smuggled in small boats from Mexico to San Diego county since October.
That's about double the haul for the previous 12 months.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials say they've detained more than 620 unauthorized immigrants along San Diego's coast in the last eight months. That's nearly equal to the total for the previous two years -- combined.
Mike Carney is with ICE. He says drug cartels control the maritime smuggling routes from the Rosarito area to San Diego's North County.
"The organizations are recruiting boat drivers from throughout coastal Mexico to come up to Rosarito-Ensenada area to drive these smuggling vessels," said Carney.
Carney says U.S. citizens work for the smuggling organizations on the U.S. side of the border. Though he couldn't say how many, he says they collect the drugs and migrants at the beach and deliver them to their destination.