Southern California breaking news and trends

This Mustang thinks it's a DeLorean: $5M in narcotics seized at the border

Photo credit: San Diego/Imperial County CBP

Cocaine found by CPB officials in one of four major drug seizures at the U.S./Mexico border over the weekend of 10/19-10/21.

Photo credit: San Diego/Imperial County CBP

Packages of heroin and methamphetamine found by CPB officials in one of four major drug seizures at the U.S./Mexico border over the weekend of 10/19-10/21.

Cocaine and brown and black heroin were found by CPB officials in the wooden frame of this wicker basket during one of four major drug seizures at the U.S./Mexico border over the weekend of 10/19-10/21.


With a bumper of cocaine, and aspirations of DeLorean infamy, a Mustang was busted at the border last weekend as part of a $5.2 million narcotics seizure by San Diego/Imperial County Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers.

The Mustang was found Friday at the San Ysidro port of entry, saddled with 46 pounds of cocaine riding along in the rear bumper. A Ford F-150 was caught with cocaine concealed in its dashboard hours later in Calexico.

On Saturday, the Otay Mesa port produced a Mazda hiding heroin and methamphetamine in its non-factory, undercarriage compartment. On Sunday, the wooden frame of a trunk-traveling wicker basket brought in bundles of brown and black heroin and cocaine.

685 pounds of narcotics were seized in total from the four incidents, and all four drivers were transported to local jails, according to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security news release. 

Read More...

Elephant skin purse, hippopotamus tusk, and other endangered animal objects seized at LAX

Endangered Animals-Seizures

AP Photo/United States Customs and Border Protection

This photo released July 2, 2012 by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows ivory tusks seized at Los Angeles International Airport on June 27, 2012. The tusks were among 15 items seized from a U.S. citizen arriving from Europe. The items were found when her three suitcases were X-rayed. Customs officers consulted with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents who confirmed that all the items cannot be imported under the Endangered Species Act.

15 products made from endangered animals were seized at Los Angeles International Airport last week, said U.S Customs and Border Protection.

Officers discovered one hippopotamus tusk, seven ivory tusks, and seven leather purses made from stingray, crocodile, ostrich, and elephant skins.

The illegal imports were foud via X-ray in the luggage of a 63-year-old woman, a U.S. citizen, arriving in L.A. from Greece via Germany.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents confirmed with customs officals that all of the confiscated items were prohibited from import under the Endangered Species Act.

USFWS launched a new website this month focused on endangered species, stories of recovery, and conservation efforts for the country's native fish, wildlife and plants. An interactive map tracks progress by state.

Read More...

Hot wheels: Stolen Ferraris found in boxes marked 'used exercise equipment'

Ferrari 458

Damian Dovarganes / AP

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer Paulo Zanetti, right, checks the interior of gas tanks, next to a 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia "supercar."

2010 Ferrari 458 Italia

Damian Dovarganes / AP

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer Paulo Zanetti holds a fiber optic camera used to check the interior of gas tanks, next to a 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia "supercar," one of 20 high-end stolen vehicles that were intercepted on their way to Honk Kong and Vietnam, in Carson, CA

 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

Damian Dovarganes / AP

California Highway Patrol officers: Lt. Glenda Brents, left, and Sgt. Mike Stefanoff, check the vin number of an intercepted 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 "supercar," that was being illegally exported with a lesser declared value, being held by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, next to other 20 high-end stolen vehicles that were intercepted on their way to Honk Kong and Vietnam, in Carson, Calif., on Tuesday, April 3, 2012.


Federal agents in Los Angeles have seized $1.5 million worth of stolen, luxury vehicles bound for Asia, they announced Tuesday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach discovered the aqua-caravan of Ferraris, Mercedes and Audis after a Ferrari dealer tipped off agents in February, said Director of Field Operations Carlos Martel.

Four of the 16 cars recovered in the operation were seized in Vietnam. The rest were seized when a ship was ordered to return to port last week just after departing.

The hot wheels were found by officers in containers marked "used exercise equipment." 

The highlight of the repossession was a Ferrari 458 Italia valued at over $280,000. Martel says the investigation is in the early stages, and that no one has been arrested.

Read More...