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Checkpoint's Toll Against Smugglers

October 11, 1987

From Oct. 1, 1986 to Sept. 30, 1987, officials at the U.S. Border Patrol station in San Clemente processed some 47,952 illegal aliens. Of those:

31,227 were arrested at the checkpoint (the remainder arrested in buses, trains, or on foot within five-mile radius of checkpoint).

5,984 were part of an organized smuggling operation.

6,275 were also arrested on criminal charges, including suspicion of murder, manslaughter, burglary, forgery, rape and possession of narcotics.

1,338 persons were arrested at the checkpoint and charged with smuggling, a felony that carries a penalty of up to $10,000 per smuggled alien and/or five years in prison per smuggled alien.

39,856 were caught within 72 hours of entering the U.S.

National origin of arrested aliens All illegal aliens arrested at the San Clemente checkpoint entered the United States at the Mexican border, although they may have been citizens of other countries. Overall, the number apprehended has declined during the last year.

Country of origin 86-87 85-86 Mexico 46,526 65,690 Guatemala 523 927 El Salvador 443 860 Nicaragua 86 *n/a Colombia 74 189 TOTAL ARRESTED 47,952 68,244

*Nicaragua statistics were included with South American countries that year.

Vehicle inspections Besides the visible checkpoint on I-5, Border Patrol agents also make checks at bus stations in Orange County and north San Diego County and northbound Amtrak trains. They inspected:

82,102 autos

14,839 commercial buses

10,146 commercial trucks

867 Amtrak trains

292 other vehicles (motorcycles, bicycles) Drug seizures and seizure of illegal goods In addition to looking for illegal aliens, Border Patrol agents have the authority to confiscate and make arrests for narcotics. In the last year, they made 134 individual narcotics seizures with a estimated street value of $5.5 million, broken down into the following:

Narcotics seizures:

2,213 pounds of marijuana ($725,201 street value)

1.5 ounces heroin ($29,100)

3,807 ounces cocaine ($3.58 million)

121 ounces methamphetamine ($216,905)

33 ounces methamphetamine fluid ($3,000 worth found in a

portable methamphetamine laboratory in a van)

1,000 illegal pills ($1,000)

5.8 ounces psychedelic mushrooms ($1,570)

Other seizures:

352 stolen vehicles worth $2,466,750

$320,740 worth of goods that violate U.S. Customs regulations,

such as liquor, watches, parrots

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