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5 U.S. Citizens Arrested for Heroin Smuggling

Release Date: 
July 9, 2018

TUCSON, Ariz. – Nogales Station Border Patrol agents arrested four females, and one male from a commercial shuttle Sunday for attempting to smuggle narcotics through the Interstate 19 Immigration Checkpoint.

Shortly after 5 p.m., a shuttle van was referred for routine secondary immigration inspection of its passengers. During the inspection, agents discovered four of the female passengers were smuggling heroin and a 32-year-old Phoenix man was the group’s facilitator. All five U.S. citizens were arrested.

Agents found heroin in a 52-year-old woman’s purse, while her 23-year-old daughter and 36-year-old friend had heroin concealed on their bodies. All three women traveled from Alaska. The fourth woman, a 30-year-old resident of Parker, Arizona, was also carrying heroin on her body.

The Phoenix man was in possession of a large amount of money and multiple gift cards. All five people were charged with drug smuggling and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.

Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Immigration checkpoint operations play a vital role in preventing criminals from transporting contraband deeper into the United States by restricting routes of egress from the border region. The U.S. Border Patrol appreciates the public’s patience while traveling through these checkpoints.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials welcome assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. Reporting illicit activity could result in saving someone’s life. 

Last modified: 
July 10, 2018