Tucson, Ariz. - Tucson Sector Border Patrol Agents seized more than 3,000 pounds of marijuana, a handgun, an assault rifle and recovered a stolen vehicle in a five-hour period. The marijuana had an estimated value of more than $2.5 million.
Wednesday afternoon, Willcox Station Border Patrol agents attempted to perform a traffic stop on Interstate 10, near Mile Marker 299. The driver did not yield and eventually abandoned the vehicle to evade arrest. Subsequently, agents found 40 bundles of marijuana, a handgun, and three magazines containing .45-caliber ammunition. The narcotics weighed 929 pounds with an estimated value of $464,500. The vehicle and narcotics were seized and will be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The handgun will be turned over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
Earlier that evening, security officers at the Barry M. Goldwater Range requested Border Patrol assistance in the pursuit of an all terrain vehicle suspected of drug smuggling. An Ajo Station Border Patrol canine team responded and seized ten bundles of marijuana that were strapped to the ATV. In addition, a discarded AK-47 assault rifle with three full magazines was recovered from a nearby area. The narcotics weighed 516 pounds with an estimated value of $258,000. The narcotics were seized and will be turned over to the DEA. The ATV, firearm, and ammunition were turned over to the Maricopa County Sherriff's Office.
On Wednesday evening, Ajo Station Border Patrol Agents seized 77 bundles of marijuana and recovered a stolen pickup truck after following its vehicle tracks to an area approximately five miles west of Federal Route 1. The truck was concealed with a tarp and contained approximately 1,757 pounds of marijuana. A records check indicated the truck was reported stolen out of Surprise, Ariz. The marijuana was transported to the Ajo Border Patrol Station and will be turned over to the DEA. The truck was turned over to the Tohono O'odham Police Department.
Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, the Department of Homeland Security has made significant investments towards establishing a secure and safe border environment and improving the quality of life throughout the communities in the state of Arizona.
The Border Patrol welcomes assistance from the community. Report suspicious activity by calling toll free (877) 872-7435. All calls will be answered and will remain anonymous.