Assistant U. S. Attorney Sherri Hobson (619) 961-0287
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – February 23, 2017
SAN DIEGO – San Ysidro resident Ricard Lujan, who was arrested in November during a routine traffic stop when an Oceanside police officer discovered millions of dollars’ worth of methamphetamine and cocaine hidden inside his vehicle, entered a guilty plea in federal court today.
Lujan pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara Lynn Major. Lujan was arrested on November 17, 2016, after the police officer discovered the drugs hidden inside the floorboards, door panels, center console and elsewhere in Lujan’s vehicle.
In his plea agreement, Lujan admitted that he drove his vehicle loaded with controlled substances from Mexico into the United States and that he intended to deliver the controlled substances to another person.
According to a federal complaint, the Oceanside Police Officer was conducting random vehicle registration checks at 12:40 a.m. on Harbor Drive in Oceanside. While doing this he noticed a car with expired tags. The officer then saw Lujan enter the Mitsubishi Endeavor SUV and attempt to leave the area. The officer stopped the vehicle. While talking to the officer, Lujan, the registered owner of the vehicle, appeared nervous and agreed to a search of his vehicle.
A Border Patrol canine handler responded to the traffic stop to assist Oceanside Police. The dog alerted to the odor of narcotics. Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, San Diego Narcotics Task Force, subsequently searched Lujan’s vehicle and found 99 packages that were vacuum sealed in plastic containers of cocaine and 58 rectangular vacuum sealed in plastic containers of methamphetamine. The agents seized approximately 89.50 kilograms of cocaine and approximately 68.90 kilograms of methamphetamine.
The estimated wholesale of the cocaine is $1.7 million dollars. The estimated wholesale value of the methamphetamine is $450,000.
Lujan is scheduled for sentencing on June 5, 2017 at 9 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez. He faces up to 20 years in custody.
Ricardo Lujan, age 44
San Ysidro, California
Criminal Case 16CR2910BEN
Two Counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances (cocaine and methamphetamine)
Title 21, United States Code, Section 841
Penalties: 20 years in custody, 3 years of supervised release, $500,000 fine; $100 special assessment
Oceanside Police Department
Drug Enforcement Administration, San Diego Narcotics Task Force
U.S. Border Patrol, San Clemente Station