Agents Seize Coke, Pot Worth $744K, Arrest Gang Member
Yuma, Ariz. - Border Patrol agents from Yuma Sector seized more than 45 pounds of cocaine, 579 pounds of marijuana, and arrested a Sureno gang member in the past four days.
Early Friday, Wellton Station agents patrolling near Gila Bend discovered a group of individuals travelling through the desert with large backpacks. Agents arrested seven individuals hiding on a small, private ranch and located 313 pounds of marijuana worth approximately $156,500. The suspects were turned over to Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
Saturday, Yuma Station agents patrolling I-8 near the Imperial Sand Dune Recreation Area noticed suspicious behavior by the driver of a white SUV and stopped the vehicle. Afterwards, a canine team alerted to the vehicle and the occupants consented to a vehicle search. During the search, approximately 45 pounds of cocaine worth $455,000 was found hidden in the vehicle's gas tank. The drugs, vehicle and four occupants, all U.S. citizens, were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
Sunday, Yuma Station agents arrested two individuals who entered the country illegally by swimming across the Colorado River. During the ensuing investigation, agents determined one of the individuals was an active Sureno 13 gang member with an extensive criminal history including multiple weapons charges. He was also wanted in Santa Clara, Calif., for assault with a deadly weapon. The suspect, a Mexican national, was turned over to Yuma Police Department and is awaiting extradition to California.
Later that day, Wellton Station agents assigned to Camp Grip, Yuma Sector's forward operating base, located six abandoned, makeshift backpacks containing marijuana. After searching the surrounding area for suspects, the marijuana, weighing 266 pounds and worth $133,000, was seized for destruction.
Yuma Sector's Border Patrol welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity and remain anonymous by calling (866) 999-8727 toll free.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.