On Friday, March 23, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department announced that they had seized over $8 million worth of cocaine from an underground bunker beneath the backyard of a house in Southern California’s Inland Empire.
Police stopped a Nissan Versa on the 60 Freeway based on the efforts of a joint operation being conducted by a dozen different law enforcement agencies, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said, which led to the investigation of the Inland Empire home. The traffic stop involved multiple representatives from the Orange and San Bernardino county police departments, along with other law enforcement agents.
During the traffic stop, police discovered that the two men had a significant amount of narcotics in the car. Police arrested both men, who were aged 24 and 38, as they sought a search warrant to investigate their residence. When they arrived at the Inland Empire home, police discovered an underground bunker in the backyard that was full of stacked bricks of cocaine.
According to investigators, the backyard bunker contained about 300 pounds worth of cocaine, or roughly 140 kilograms. Between the cocaine discovered in the vehicle and the cocaine found in the underground bunker, authorities say the cocaine has an estimated street value of about $8.4 million.
Additional information about the identities of the two men who were arrested and the nature of their drug trafficking activities were not released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, as the operation that led to their arrest is still ongoing.
Other participants in the ongoing investigation include representatives from the nearby Newport Beach, Orange, Buena Park, Santa Ana, and other local police departments as well as federal agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Authorities hope that by reducing the amount of cocaine available, they can help get more people the addiction recovery treatment that they deserve.