In the spirit of R. Scott Moxley's beloved if gut-wrenching column Citizen of the Week, which profiles truly hideous individuals and their crimes, the Weekly is proud to announce a companion column: Awesome Criminal of the Week. Our first winner is a yet-to-be-identified 30-year-old Mexican dude who tried to paddle from Tijuana to San Diego on a surfboard while carrying a duffel bag full of 24 pounds of marijuana early Sunday morning.
According to the LA Times, which ran a brief item on the stunt this morning, the Border Patrol spotted the surfer about 200 yards offshore at Imperial Beach, which borders Mexico--a barbed wire fence actually goes out several hundred feet into the water to dissuade Mexican bathers from swimming across. As agents tried to arrest him, he tossed the bag into the water, but it was quickly retrieved and estimated to contain $74,000 worth of weed. "The suspect, whose name was not released, admitted he was in the U.S. illegally," the Times reported.
As the poor man's capture suggests, this wasn't exactly the perfect crime. The beach just north of Mexico is about as well-guarded as any stretch of the US border anywhere. But more importantly, as any good smuggler--or anyone familiar with the Brotherhood of Eternal Love--would know, you're supposed to hide your weed in secret compartments inside your board. Maybe 24 pounds would be a tight squeeze, but you'd still have a better chance of catching a wave than if you were holding on to a duffel bag.
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Better luck next time, amigo! Meanwhile, thanks for keeping Orange County's tradition of surfer-smuggling alive and well. You, senor, are an inspiration and, while Mexican, a real American hero.