Officers with the Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force reportedly seized 88 pounds of cocaine during a raid on an allegedly empty Lake Forest home February 18. Apparently, two people were arrested on suspicion of drug crimes. Law enforcement claims that they received a tip that drugs were being distributed from the home and agents set up surveillance of the residence early Saturday morning.
Authorities say that two men left in a vehicle and the officers performing the stakeout called for Orange County deputies to pull the car over. News coverage is sketchy, but a story in the Orange County Register indicates that the authorities only saw the two men drive away from the house.
Deputies apparently conducted a traffic stop of the car on Interstate 5; however, a report in the media does not explain what authorities claim served as the basis for the traffic stop. Apparently deputies conducted a search of the vehicle and came up empty handed. Law enforcement claims an empty secret compartment was found in the vehicle. Officials say that after the fruitless traffic stop, authorities obtained a search warrant for the Lake Forest residence, which officials believe is unoccupied.
Investigators served the search warrant at the home during the wee-hours of the morning and claim to have uncovered roughly 40 kilos of cocaine within the building. A car was found parked in the garage, and investigators claim that they seized an additional 40 kilos of cocaine from a secret compartment inside the unoccupied car. Officials estimate the street value of the seized cocaine to be roughly $4 million.
Officials assert that the home is not occupied and served only as a place to stash drugs for later distribution. News reports are not clear who law enforcement believes may be responsible for the drugs, but a story in the OC Register indicates that two men were taken into custody, ostensibly on suspicion of drug crimes.
Source: Orange County Register, “88 pounds of cocaine found in empty house,” Salvador Hernandez, Feb. 20, 2012