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Border Patrol Reports Big Drop in Drug Seizures

The Border Patrol reports a big drop in drug seizures in the Imperial Sand Dunes and other parts of southeastern California.

CALEXICO, Calif. (AP) -- The Border Patrol reports a big drop in drug seizures in the Imperial Sand Dunes and other parts of southeastern California.

The dunes have long been a magnet for drug smugglers who blend in with off-road vehicle enthusiasts in the desert playground. There is no fence separating the U.S. from Mexico.

Border Patrol officials said Friday that a new checkpoint on Interstate 8 and the presence of more agents may be deterring smugglers.

Agents in the Calexico area, which includes the dunes, have seized 4,257 pounds of drugs from October through March. That's down 87 percent from 32,858 pounds the same period a year earlier. Almost all of it is marijuana.

The number of seizures has dropped to 25 from 104.