California drug dealer escapes with 60 pounds of sheriff's meth during failed sting

A drug dealer got away with 60 pounds of meth that belonged to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department this week after a sting operation went awry, officials said. 

Undercover narcotics investigators were attempting to identify traffickers when they met a suspect around 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday. 

After the transaction, the suspect sped away from the officers with the meth, which has a street value of $150,000 to $210,000. 

"The suspect failed to yield, and a pursuit was initiated. Due to the high speeds and suspect’s disregard for public safety, deputies lost sight of the vehicle," the sheriff's office said. 

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It wasn't immediately clear whether investigators knew the identity of the drug trafficker. 

Meth has long ravaged Southern California, as the Riverside and San Bernardino County area was once known as the "methamphetamine capital of the United States."

The drug is frequently manufactured at clandestine labs in California or smuggled across the southwest border. 

Border Patrol has already seized 75,600 pounds of meth in the first six months of fiscal year 2023 across the northern and southwest borders, as well as coastal ports of entry. Over half of those seizures, about 41,300 pounds, were conducted by Border Patrol's San Diego field office, according to CBP data. 

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