The amount of drugs seized at five California border crossings fell for the first time in four years.
Authorities say the decline reflects a post-Sept. 11 security crackdown and stepped-up enforcement in Colombia and Mexico.
U.S. Customs Service inspectors seized a total of 158 tons of heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine over the 12 months ending September 30th. A year ago, the total was more than 244 tons.
In fiscal 2002, Customs inspectors in California seized 150 tons of marijuana, 8.5 tons of cocaine, a half-ton of methamphetamine and 284 pounds of heroin.
Tighter security and more vehicle searches and identification checks __ aimed primarily at preventing future terror attacks __ has made smuggling more risky and less profitable, Bond said.