A Baja California state trooper was arrested Monday at the San Ysidro checkpoint and is facing charges for allegedly importing cocaine, according to an indictment filed in federal court for the Southern District of California.
Agent Víctor Alfonso Moreno was part of the State Citizen Security Force (FESC) in the Tijuana area for seven years, Mexican authorities said.
According to the federal indictment, the agent, who is a Mexican citizen, arrived at the San Ysidro checkpoint around 11 a.m. Monday aboard a Nissan vehicle with Baja California license plates.
A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer noticed anomalies in the back seat of the vehicle and requested assistance from a canine team. Both a trained dog and an agent operating an X-ray machine confirmed an irregularity in the seats.
According to authorities, 35 packages of cocaine with a total weight of around 44 kilograms were found inside the vehicle.
Moreno stated that he did not know the drugs were in his vehicle. He said he crossed the limit because he shopped at 5.11, Walmart and Ross stores in San Diego.
He added that he parked his vehicle at a mechanic’s shop in Tijuana on Friday, Sept. 15, and that he was a close friend of the mechanic, the indictment says.
Moreno said he had previously investigated the same mechanic for “possible ties to cartels.” Moreno said he picked up his vehicle the same day he was arrested.
Moreno appeared before a judge on Tuesday where he was denied the possibility of bail.
His attorney did not respond to an emailed request for comment Wednesday.
Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero called the incident “unfortunate” when asked about it by the media. “I am sure the governor is already taking the action she should on this matter,” she said.
Baja California’s Secretariat for Citizen Security reported that it had opened an investigation following the incident.
“From the first moment when the events at the border crossing between Tijuana and San Ysidro became known, the instruction was given to initiate an internal administrative procedure to deal with the suspension of the public official involved, respecting the legal procedures.” Both the United States and Mexico,” it said in a statement.
It was reported that Moreno had no incidents within the company, passed fiduciary exams in 2021 and faced new exams in 2024.
The state agency added that it “will not allow or tolerate the bad practices of those who seek to destabilize the great achievement made to date on behalf of Baja California in the fight against the causes of violence.”