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Crime Featured Rancho Santa Fe

Man swimming from Mexico to the US arrested for smuggling

REGION — A 55-year-old Mexican national was caught and arrested by Border Patrol agents on Sept. 19 attempting to swim from Mexico into the U.S. while allegedly smuggling 52.43 pounds of marijuana in a duffle bag. 

The man, Ruben Aguilera-Lopez, is being charged with two felony counts of transporting marijuana into California and possession of marijuana for sale, according to the District Attorney’s office.

He’s since pleaded not guilty to the charges and bail was set at $35,000.

Agents responded to the sighting of the man swimming at around 11 p.m. approximately one mile north of the U.S./Mexico border.

Aguilera-Lopez was floating on a duffle bag about 600 yards offshore.

When agents searched the duffle bag, they found seven bundles of marijuana, worth an estimated street value of $23,594.

Aguilera-Lopez is expected in court Oct. 2 for a readiness hearing, and an Oct. 7 date has been set for the preliminary hearing.


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