CLARIFICATION FROM LT. TONY CONRAD OF THE MURRIETA POLICE DEPARTMENT: Officers from the Murrieta Regional Gang Task Force were training with Border Patrol on a detail during this incident and were present when it occurred.
According to Lt. Conrad, MRGTF officers assisted in tracking the suspect and making the arrest.
The MRGTF is comprised of detectives from the Murrieta Police Department, the Riverside County District Attorney's Office, County Probation, Border Patrol and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department; it is supervised by a Murrieta Police Department sergeant, the lieutenant explained.
ORIGINAL POST: Local law enforcement agencies joined forces Tuesday in the apprehension of a suspected herion smuggler.
U.S. Border Patrol agents working jointly with Riverside County sheriff’s deputies, Murrieta police officers and California Highway Patrol officers to arrest the suspected smuggler after he fled from the Interstate 15 Border Patrol checkpoint, said Scott E. Simon, according to a Border Patrol news release.
The suspect, a 28-year-old male U.S. citizen, allegedly threw two bundles of herion worth $25,740 out of his car window at the Interstate 15 checkpoint near Temecula, said Border Patrol Agent Scott E. Simon in the news release.
The incident occurred at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday when agents and Murrieta police officers on patrol at the checkpoint. They attempted to stop the suspect, who was driving a red 2005 Dodge Neon, Simon said.
The driver allegedly failed to yield, drove onto the center median and sped through the checkpoint, Simon said.
"Agents alerted local law enforcement in the area who quickly responded to assist," Simon said.
Air assets were dispatched by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department to help in the search for the suspect, who exited Interstate 15 North onto Temecula Parkway, Simon said.
Sheriff's deputies in the air spotting the suspect hiding in some brush near the off ramp, and directed those on the ground to his hiding spot, Simon said.
He was taken into custody by agents, deputies and officers, Simon said, and the suspect and heroin were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation. The Dodge Neon driven during the incident was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
The suspected smuggler, whose name was not released, could face federal charges for narcotics smuggling and high speed flight from a checkpoint, Simon said.