$8.4M in cocaine found in underground bunker beneath California backyard

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INLAND EMPIRE, Calif. – Two people have been arrested after investigators found an underground bunker in the backyard of a Southern California home and seized a stash of about $8.4 million in cocaine, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department announced Friday.

Stacks of cocaine are seen inside an underground bunker that was discovered in the backyard of an Inland Empire home where investigators uncovered about $8.4 million in cocaine. Authorities announced the seizure and arrests of two men in connection with it on March 23, 2018. (Credit: Orange County Sheriff's Department)
Stacks of cocaine are seen inside an underground bunker that was discovered in the backyard of an Inland Empire home where investigators uncovered about $8.4 million in cocaine. Authorities announced the seizure and arrests of two men in connection with it on March 23, 2018. (Credit: Orange County Sheriff’s Department)

The discovery of the massive cache of narcotics, weighing about 140 kilograms — or roughly 300 pounds — came after officers stopped a vehicle along the 60 Freeway, the Sheriff’s Department said.  That stop was initiated by a joint operation being carried about by 12 different agencies, officials said.

Inside the vehicle, authorities discovered “a substantial amount of narcotics,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

Two men, ages 24 and 38, were arrested a short time later as investigators obtained a search warrant to search their residence to further investigate.

Rows of packaged cocaine are seen after being seized from an Inland Empire home where about $8.4 million in drugs was found following the arrests of two men, which authorities announced on March 23, 2018. (Credit: Orange County Sheriff's Department)
Rows of packaged cocaine are seen after being seized from an Inland Empire home where about $8.4 million in drugs was found following the arrests of two men, which authorities announced on March 23, 2018. (Credit: Orange County Sheriff’s Department)

At the home, there was an underground bunker found in the backyard that was packed with stacks of kilograms of cocaine, authorities said.

Sheriff’s Department officials said the drug bust is part of a larger ongoing investigation so additional information about the nature of the mens’ arrests and other details of the alleged crimes is not yet being released.

The agencies involved in the investigation include the O.S. Sheriff’s Department and police from Cal State Fullerton and the cities of Orange, Buena Park, Tustin, Newport Beach, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana and Ontario, in addition to federal investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI.

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