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Orange County Digest

Local News in Brief : Countywide : Board Votes to Accept Riverside County Ranch

December 02, 1987

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to accept a 213-acre ranch in Riverside County from federal officials who seized the property during a drug investigation.

Orange County was offered the site because an investigation by its Sheriff's Department led police to the Rancho Del Rio site at the juncture of Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties.

The property was owned by Daniel J. Fowlie, 52, who was arrested recently in La Paz, Mexico, during an investigation of the torture-slaying of U.S. drug agent Enrique Camarena.

The supervisors also requested a report in six months from the county administrative staff outlining alternative uses for the ranch. The Sheriff's Department has proposed that it be made into tactical training center that could be used by local and federal officers throughout the county, Capt. Douglas D. Storm said.

The report will also examine the possibility of selling the property. County officials have estimated its value at about $1.2 million.

The ranch, which officials said was a headquarters for a large drug smuggling operation, was offered to Orange County under a 1984 federal law that allows local police agencies to use property and cash seized from suspected drug traffickers to pay for their drug units.

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