Yuma, Ariz. - Border Patrol agents seized more than 190 pounds of marijuana abandoned in the desert; assisted U.S. Marshals Service in arresting a murder suspect; and recovered a stolen weapon in separate incidents Friday and Saturday.
In the first incident, Wellton Station agents were patrolling west of Davidson Canyon Friday when they discovered four abandoned, makeshift backpacks filled with marijuana. The marijuana, weighing roughly 196 pounds and worth an estimated $98,000, was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Agents working a checkpoint on Interstate 8 Saturday referred a vehicle for secondary inspection following a canine team alert. The driver, a U.S. citizen, consented to a search of his vehicle. Agents opened the vehicle's glove box and found small amounts of marijuana and hashish, a glass pipe, and a 9 mm pistol that was reported stolen out of Tucson. The subject, drugs, paraphernalia and weapon were turned over to the Yuma Police Department.
In a third incident Saturday, at the same checkpoint, agents assisted the U.S. Marshals Service by detaining the passenger of a vehicle identified as the primary suspect in an on-going murder investigation and wanted in Santa Maria, Calif. While in the Border Patrol's custody, the passenger, Isaac Raymond Martinez, a U.S. citizen, consented to a search. Agents then discovered he was carrying a loaded .32-caliber revolver and additional rounds of ammunition in his pants pockets. Martinez, the firearm and ammunition were turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service.
Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, the Department of Homeland Security has made significant investments toward establishing a secure, safe border environment to improve the quality of life throughout Arizona communities.