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CHP uncovers huge cache of marijuana in El Centro home

September 14, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

In the largest marijuana seizure in the last year in the Imperial Valley, the California Highway Patrol uncovered 6,670 pounds of the drug in a house south of El Centro on Thursday.

The discovery came as the Highway Patrol was following up on a stolen-vehicle case, said Ernie Limon, Imperial County Narcotic Task Force assistant commander.

Highway Patrol officers went to a house east of Highway 111 and McCabe Road shortly before 6 p.m. on a tip that a stolen vehicle was at that house.

Officers established a perimeter around the house and the U.S. Border Patrol aided in that effort.

Officers thought there was at least one person in the house. A television was on and there were lighted candles in the house.

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Officers opted to enter the house to secure the area. When they did, they found the front door unlocked.

Officers found the marijuana stored in two bedrooms.

Limon said there were 969 packages of marijuana stored in the rooms.

Highway Patrol officials reported they found two stolen vehicles at the house — a 1997 GMC Suburban and a 1999 Ford F-250.

The investigation into the case is ongoing, with NTF heading the drug investigation and Highway Patrol heading the stolen vehicle probe.

There was no information available this morning on the owner of the house.

Highway Patrol officials said the marijuana seizure was the largest in the Valley since more than a year ago when about 8,000 pounds of marijuana was found in two tractor-trailer rigs at the Calexico East Port of Entry.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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