Photo courtesy of DEA.
A traffic stop by a San Bernardino Sheriff's Department deputy triggered the seizure of approximately $45 million worth of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.
The department's narcotics division confiscated approximately 2,750 pounds of cocaine, 67 pounds of methamphetamine and 38,000 pounds of marijuana in the drug seizure, after searching the tractor trailer.
"This is one of the largest seizures in the county and I will make every effort to continue this aggressive fight against drug traffickers entering San Bernardino County," Sheriff Rod Hoops said about the bust.
On Wednesday at approximately 11 a.m., deputies with the San Bernardino Sheriff's High Intensity Criminal Interdiction Unit pulled over the rig, which was travelling eastbound on Interstate 10, for a traffic violation.
Deputies questioned the driver, 32-year-old Fernando Luevano of Fontana, and found that the paperwork for his load was not in order. Leuvano gave consent to search the vehicle and upon opening the trailer, the deputies noticed an overwhelming odor of marijuana.
A further search of the trailer yielded 92 pallets containing thousands of heat-sealed packages of illegal narcotics. Field testing of the packages yielded positive results for cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.
Luevano was arrested and booked for possession, transportation and sales of narcotics. His bail is set at $5 million.
"This was a brazen transportation of 40,000 pounds of drugs, more than 18 tons of drugs that could have ended up in neighborhoods throughout California," said Timothy Landrum, special agent in charge with the Drug Enforcement Administration. "This seizure will have a direct impact on the availability of these dangerous drugs in our communities."
The DEA's Riverside office and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's narcotics division are continuing this joint investigation.