The nondescript Mercury Sable sedan made it's way into Chula Vista, getting off the 5 north, coming from the San Ysidro border crossing, winding through the neighborhoods, stoplights, off the South Bay community, shortly after the sun set, across the horizon.
Maybe the driver had that feeling, that intuition, the reflexes and instincts that may come with driving nondescript cars with dozens of kilos of cocaine stuffed into hidden compartments. Nondescript cars under the surveillance of investigators on a task force. The surveillance team watched as the Mercury pulled into a storage facility in Chula Vista, just before 7:00 PM.
It was there they made the arrest, dismantled the car, and found a somewhat odd mixture of bundled drug shipments. The key was the 30 kilos of cocaine, worth 20,000 or so in Tijuana, but there was also just over a half pound of brown heroin, 25 pounds of highly compressed marijuana, and about 24 pounds of crystal meth.
In all the shipment is worth close to 650,000. News reports, based on law enforcement briefings, have put it at 1.1 million, which I think is a stretch. The crystal isn't worth more then 35,000 or so, the marijuana is worth even less, at about 300 a pound X 24. The heroin is barely 5,000 dollars. You'd have to estimate the cocaine at almost 30,000 to reach 1.1 million.
Often drug shipments are bundled together, mostly seeing crystal with cocaine, and heroin and crystal together. Rarely are all three in the same, smaller shipment, even less, 24 pounds of marijuana, and 0.68 pounds of heroin. There are reasons for this. This may have been a very specific shipment for an individual or likelier a distribution group, operating in the San Diego area, or anywhere up the corridor, to Los Angeles.
The individual was not named, and was booked into the county jail, on narcotics charges. This case is likely linked to an ongoing investigation, and the group tied to the narcotics will be revealed, when the indictment is unsealed. If the owners were unknown, it would be less likely the driver would have been detained, before he reached his final destination. Also, it's common for runners to be switched out, along with the car, as they move further north. The fact it was a storage facility, may lend credence to the theory, that was the drugs final stop however.
Most major seizures are not accidents, and many are linked to major investigations, that may go unknown to anyone but the authorities and those charged. Just last week Ricardo Lujan, 42, a San Ysidro native pled guilty to transporting 90 kilos of cocaine, and 68 kilos of crystal, and intending to transfer the shipment to another person. The load was seized in Oceanside, last November, in very similar circumstances to last nights seizure in Chula Vista.