Tucson, Ariz. - In three separate incidents within a 24 hour period, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents seized more than 3,000 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of $1.5 million and arrested five individuals.
On Tuesday, July 5, a Border Patrol canine unit alerted to a vehicle during primary inspection at the State Highway 80 checkpoint. The vehicle was referred to secondary where a scan using Non-Intrusive Inspection Technology equipment revealed several anomalies. Further inspection led to the discovery of 88 small bundles of marijuana concealed in non-factory compartments throughout the doors and roof of the vehicle. The narcotics weighed approximately 140 pounds with an estimated value of $70,000. The driver, a U. S. citizen, was arrested and is being prosecuted on federal drug charges. The marijuana and vehicle were seized by the Willcox Border Patrol Station.
Later that morning, a CBP Office of Air and Marine helicopter detected possible drug smugglers northeast of Lukeville, Ariz. Ajo Station agents assigned to the All Terrain Unit responded to the location and recovered 42 bundles of marijuana and arrested three Mexican nationals. The marijuana weighed 1,915 pounds with an estimated value of $957,500. The subjects are being prosecuted on federal drug charges. The contraband was transported to the Ajo Station and will be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
On July 6, Ajo agents recovered 12 bundles of marijuana that were abandoned north of Lukeville. The narcotics weighed approximately 959 pounds with an estimated value of $479,500 and were transported to the Ajo Station.
The use of advanced technology and specialty units such as all-terrain vehicles and CBP aircraft allow Border Patrol agents to detect and respond to illicit cross-border activity quicker and more effectively.
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 1 (877) 872-7435. All calls will be answered and will remain anonymous.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection 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.