Ultralight Aircraft Meth Smuggling Attempt Thwarted in California

File photo of drug smuggling ultralight aircraft. (File Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/El Centro Sector)
File Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/El Centro Sector

El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents thwarted a drug smuggling attempt featuring an ultralight aircraft. The agents stopped more than 145 pounds of methamphetamine from being delivered to cities in the United States.

Calexico Border Patrol Station agents observed an ultralight aircraft illegally crossing the border from Mexico into Southern California. The agents followed the aircraft as it flew at a low altitude southwest of the intersection of Highway 111 and Jasper Road, according to information provided by El Centro Sector Border Patrol officials.

Duffel bag filed with packages containing methamphetamine seized by Border Patrol after smugglers flew across border in ultralight. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/El Centro Sector)

Duffel bag filled with packages containing methamphetamine seized by Border Patrol after smugglers flew across the border in an ultralight. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/El Centro Sector)

Agents searched the area and discovered where the ultralight landed to offload its cargo of illicit drugs. The aircraft and pilot quickly took off and flew back to Mexico, officials told Breitbart Texas.

The agents found a white duffel bag and a metal basket in a field located south of Jasper Road, officials reported. A search of the bag and basked led to the discovery of suspected drug packages. The agents loaded up the contraband and transported it to the Calexico Station for testing and processing.

Border Patrol agents seize additional packages of methamphetamine after smugglers carried them over border in an ultralight aircraft. (Duffel bag filed with packages containing methamphetamine seized by Border Patrol.(Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/El Centro Sector)

Border Patrol agents seize additional packages of methamphetamine after smugglers carried them over border in an ultralight aircraft. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/El Centro Sector)

Tests identified the contents of the 26 seized containers as methamphetamine, officials reported. The drugs weighed 145.5 pounds and have an estimated street value of more then $327,000. Officials turned the suspected drug load over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for investigation.

El Centro Sector Border Patrol officials said this is the first time this fiscal year their agents have interdicted an ultralight-related drug shipment. Twice in 2019, Tucson Sector agents interdicted attempted smuggling operations utilizing ultralight aircraft. The incidents occurred in May and again in October.

This has been a record year for drug smuggling from Mexico into the United States, Breitbart Texas’ Jaeson Jones reported on Monday. In June alone, the seizure of drug shipments jumped by 50 percent from the previous month.

Cocaine, fentanyl, and marijuana all saw a spike in seizures with cocaine jumping by nearly 70 percent and fentanyl rising by 151 percent.

“In late 2019, Breitbart Texas received information from sources within the cartels that the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation (CJNG) outfits would be increasing output from their labs in the following months,” Jones reported. By January, those shipments began showing up in increased drug seizures.

Jones concluded:

As of June 2020 for this fiscal year, CBP reported seizures of 103,917 pounds of methamphetamine at points of entry. These seizures far surpassed the FY2019 record year of 68,585 pounds. Fentanyl seizures reached 2,034 pounds–which will soon surpass the FY 2019 record year of 2,545 pounds.

There are still three months left before the end of the current fiscal year. If the seizure numbers stay steady, methamphetamine could reach as high as 130,000 pounds–more than double the 2019 record.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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