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Sheriff's investigating alleged Winterhaven drug-smuggling operation

October 08, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

WINTERHAVEN — Sheriff's officials and the U.S. Customs Service are investigating an alleged drug-smuggling operation in this eastern Imperial County community.

Deputies uncovered a stash of marijuana Saturday inside what was thought to be an abandoned trailer inside Bee's Trailer Park in the 2700 block of Araz Road.

The discovery came after 8 a.m. when Sheriff's Deputy Pompeyo Tabarez Jr. stopped a sport-utility vehicle not far from the trailer park for a traffic violation.

Tabarez, who had already received word there was a smuggling operation in the park, had reason to tie the SUV to the park, according to Sheriff's Sgt. Sharon Stogner.

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She declined to speak in more detail about the connection.

After the traffic stop, deputies went into the trailer park where they found roughly 80 pounds of marijuana in an abandoned trailer.

Another 100 pounds was found in a vehicle parked near the trailer.

Stogner said deputies called in U.S. Customs officers to help in the investigation. No arrests have occurred, but Stogner said an arrest could be pending.

The investigation was ongoing today.

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

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