Rookie Border Patrol Agents Help Nab SUVs Loaded With Pot
Drugs Worth $1M, Officials Say

POSTED: 6:24 pm PDT August 29, 2007
UPDATED: 8:26 pm PDT August 29, 2007

TECATE, Calif. -- A group of seven rookie California Border Patrol agents seized nearly 2,000 pounds of marijuana Wednesday from three SUVs near Tecate, officials announced.

The seizure happened at 7:30 a.m. The agents were working on a field-training unit with a veteran member of the Border Patrol when they spotted three "suspicious vehicles" heading north from the border toward state Route 94.

Agents said they began following the Toyota T100, Jeep Grand Cherokee and an Isuzu Trooper westbound when the cars made an abrupt turn south onto state Route 188, heading toward the Tecate port of entry.

The drivers separated, driving along the border fence before abandoning their vehicles. They fled south into Mexico, officials said.

When agents searched the SUVs, they found 158 cellophane-wrapped bundles of pot. The drugs had been covered by blankets. All the vehicles were seized, and officials determined the Toyota T100 was stolen. In all, agents said the SUVs contained 1,967 pounds of marijuana worth more than $1,000,000.

The seven agents involved in the seizure graduated from the academy two weeks ago. They are part of the more than 500 new Border Patrol agents arriving to the San Diego Sector this year, according to officials.