Monday, December 22, 2008
Yuma, Ariz. - Yuma Sector agents arrested drug smugglers posing as off-road enthusiasts, Sunday afternoon.About 3 p.m., Border Patrol agents patrolling the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area
noticed two individuals on the Mexican side of the international boundary fence scouting out the immediate area. Later agents observed a Polaris Ranger
off-road vehicle, on the U.S. side of the fence, drive to meet up with the two scouts. The scouts threw four bundles of marijuana over the fence to the driver of the vehicle; the driver placed the bundles into the back of the Polaris Ranger.
Agents maintained constant surveillance of the vehicle as it drove north to the Midway Campground and stopped at a motor home parked at the campsite. The driver exited the vehicle, entered the motor home briefly, then exited and resumed driving the Polaris Ranger – at this point Border Patrol agents stopped the driver, arrested him and seized the marijuana.
Border Patrol agents and a detection K-9 searched the motor home for other illicit narcotics but were unable to locate any. Agents discovered a male and female occupant with extensive criminal history involving narcotics in the motor home; Jonathan Berry and Jeannine Landreneaux. Landreneaux’s records checks also revealed an active warrant for her arrest for narcotics originating from California.The driver of the vehicle, Russell Carter, also had extensive criminal history involving narcotics.The marijuana weighed 93 pounds with an estimated value of $74,000 and was turned over to the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office. Carter and Landreneaux were taken into custody by ICSO. The Polaris Ranger was seized by ICSO.The general public is reminded to observe a 100-foot enforcement zone from the international boundary fence in order to avoid hazardous and sometimes violent illegal cross-border activity, and to allow to Border Patrol to conduct operations within the area.U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.