Driver with large haul of possible narcotics crashes in Santa Ana after fleeing federal agents in San Clemente
Police found a large haul of suspected narcotics in a car that crashed Wednesday in Santa Ana after the driver fled from federal agents in San Clemente and temporarily evaded authorities.
Federal agents attempted to stop a white four-door sedan at about 8:40 a.m., on Interstate 5 near the Customs and Border Patrol station that’s just south of San Clemente, according to Tharon Francsico, a spokesman for the agency. He said the driver took off and headed north at a high rate of speed, initiating a pursuit with law enforcement.
An Orange County Sheriff’s Department helicopter took part in the chase, but authorities temporarily lost track of the suspect, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. He said a Fountain Valley police officer later spotted the white sedan speeding along Harbor Boulevard at about 9:06 a.m.
“The officer was writing a ticket at the time, and saw the suspect traveling extremely fast, heading north in southbound lanes,” said Bertagna. “The officer got into his vehicle and tried to catch up, without driving erratically.”
Police found the car in Santa Ana, after it had apparently struck a curb and crashed near the intersection of Harbor Boulevard and 1st Street, said Bertagna. He said no other vehicles or pedestrians were involved in the collision.
The suspect had fled the area by the time officers arrived. A search of the sedan yielded 20 kilograms, or about 44 pounds, of possible narcotics, according to Bertagna. He said results from lab analysis of the substance were pending Wednesday afternoon, but a detective familiar with drug cases said it appeared to be either fentanyl or cocaine.