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Nearly $3.6 Million in Drugs Seized at Arizona Ports Within Five-Hour Period

Release Date: 
May 16, 2014

TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Ports of Nogales and Douglas had a busy yet productive Wednesday afternoon. Between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., four drug seizures included nearly 7,000 pounds of marijuana, three pounds of heroin and 14 pounds of methamphetamine.

CBP officers assigned to the Mariposa Commercial Facility discovered $3.35 worth of marijuana concealed behind a false wall in the front of a commercial trailerCBP officers at the Mariposa Commercial Facility selected a tractor-trailer, driven by a 36-year-old Mexican national for further inspection following a positive alert by a CBP narcotics detection canine. During the search, officers removed 465 packages of marijuana from a non-factory compartment in the front wall of the trailer. The drugs, weighing more than 6,700 pounds, are worth an estimated $3.35 million.

Later that evening, officers at the DeConcini crossing referred a Nissan sedan for further inspection and questioning of Luis Enrique Gonzalez-Murillo, 21, of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Officers removed 13 packages of methamphetamine weighing 14 pounds and two packages of heroin weighing three pounds after a CBP canine alerted to the gas tank and rear seats. The meth was valued at $42,500 while the heroin had a value of $46,500.More than 14 pounds of methamphetamine and three pounds of heorin are seized from a smuggling vehicle gas tank, worth $46,500

Meanwhile, officers at the Port of Douglas referred a Saturn for further inspection and questioned the driver, Moises Torres-Zamora, 68, of Douglas. After a canine alerted to the presence of drugs, officers removed 170 packages of marijuana from the bumpers and undercarriage. The drugs, weighing 236 pounds, have an estimated value of $118,000.

A few hours later, Douglas officers referred a Ford truck for further inspection and to question the driver, Jesus Fabian Saldate-Vasquez, 27, of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. When officers searched the vehicle, they located 44 packages of marijuana within the fuel tank. The drugs weighed more than 43 pounds and are worth an estimated $22,000.

All vehicles and drugs were processed for seizure.

 The subjects were referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

“I am very proud of our officers’ efforts,” said Tucson Field Office Director William K. Brooks. “The amount of narcotics interdicted in such a short period is a testament to their dedication of keeping our communities safe.”