With the county Sheriff's Office placing more focus on agriculture-related crimes, the department's rural crime task force has conducted its first operation, aimed at preventing stolen property from leaving the county.
The recent operation was done jointly with a task force from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
Imperial County sheriff's Investigator Gabe Vela, assigned to the local task force, said the joint operation focused on trying to stop the movement of stolen rural goods through the Valley into Mexico and into Arizona.
The operation targeted commercial vehicles traveling on Interstate 8 toward Arizona and highways leading to Mexico.
The concern is that stolen property such as farm vehicles and other farm machinery, construction equipment, hay, livestock and other ag-related items are being moved through the Valley inside commercial vehicles.
Vela said the operation was conducted in a "roving" manner in that investigators would stop commercial vehicles that had a vehicle code violation.