A Baja California state police officer found himself in custody on Monday following his arrest at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on suspicion of smuggling close to 100 pounds of cocaine in his vehicle. This development was revealed through a complaint filed in San Diego federal court.
The individual in question, Víctor Alfonso Moreno, had served as a member of the Baja California state police in the Tijuana region for a span of seven years, as confirmed by Mexican officials.
On the fateful Monday, approximately at 11:00 a.m., Moreno, a Mexican citizen, approached the San Ysidro Port of Entry driving a Nissan Sentra sporting Baja California license plates. The Customs and Border Protection officer on duty noted irregularities in the rear seat of the car and subsequently requested the assistance of a canine team.
The ensuing inspection of the vehicle led to the discovery of 35 packages containing suspected cocaine, cleverly concealed within the driver’s, passenger’s, and rear seats. These illicit packages amounted to an estimated total weight of 97 pounds, as detailed in the complaint.
Despite the damning evidence, Moreno vehemently denied any knowledge of the drugs stashed in his vehicle. He claimed that his purpose for crossing the border was to go shopping at establishments including 5.11 Tactical, Walmart, and Ross in San Diego County. In an attempt to bolster his alibi, Moreno mentioned that he had left his car at a mechanic’s workshop in Tijuana on September 15. He further asserted that he shared a close friendship with this mechanic, according to statements in the complaint.
Interestingly, Moreno revealed that he had previously conducted an investigation into the same mechanic, suspecting possible ties to drug cartels. He recounted picking up his vehicle from the mechanic on that very Monday.
During his initial appearance in court on Tuesday, Moreno was ordered to be held in custody without bail. His attorney declined to provide any comments regarding the case when approached by the media on Thursday.
When questioned about the incident, Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero termed it “unfortunate” and expressed her confidence that the governor was addressing the matter appropriately.
In response to the alarming development, Baja California officials initiated an internal investigation into the incident. Authorities noted that Moreno had a clean record within the agency and had successfully passed routine background checks throughout his tenure.