Heroin Bust in the O.C.

121 pounds of Mexican brown heroin was seized Wednesday from a home in Anaheim.

What I found interesting was how this story is reported in the press. You’d think a simple drug bust would be a straight forward reporting exercise — and you’d be wrong. For example KFI AM 640, home to the John and Ken show known for their ongoing rant against the invasion of the U.S. by illegal aliens, chose this headline: “Mexican Heroin Found in Orange County — The stuff had just been brought over the border.” Mexican heroin seized in Anaheim does imply that it crossed the border at some point, right?

In the O.C. Register, the four of the men arrested at the home were described as “Mexican males without legal status” in an attempt to find a term that fits neatly between “undocumented worker” and “illegal alien.” Somehow, though, I suspect that with 121 pounds of heroin involved, even the National Association of Hispanic Journalists might not object to the term “illegal” being used in conjunction with these four suspects.

And of course there seems to be a bit of regional rivalry going on: the O.C. Register reports the seizure “is believed to be one of the largest heroin seizures ever made in California” — but the L.A. Times was quick to point out that it was not the biggest in California history. That distinction belongs to Long Beach (in L.A. County) with 140 pounds seized in 1990. Apart from using the headline to lobby for more law enforcement funds (or to justify the funds they already have), I’m not sure why any county would want the distinction.

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