Arizona CBP Officers Seize Several Loads of Marijuana
Tucson, AZ. - Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Tucson Field Office, a component of the Customs and Border Protection Joint Field Command - Arizona, recently made four separate drug seizures, worth an estimated $51,000, on the same day.
On the evening of September 21, officers at the Dennis DeConcini Port in Nogales referred a 36-year-old woman from Nogales, Sonora, for a secondary inspection of her Suzuki SUV as she attempted to enter the United States. A narcotics detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs in the back of the vehicle. Officers then removed the gas tank and found 12 packages of marijuana weighing approximately 48 pounds worth approximately $24,000. The drugs and vehicle were processed for seizure.
On the morning of September 21, officers at the Douglas Port referred a 41-year-old Mexican national for a secondary inspection of his Ford truck as he attempted to enter the United States. After a narcotics detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle, officers located 16 packages of marijuana with a total weight of approximately 20 pounds. The marijuana, valued at $10,000, and vehicle were processed for seizure.
Later that same day, officers referred a 28-year-old Douglas man for a secondary inspection as he attempted entry into the United States through a vehicle lane at the Douglas Port. A narcotics detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle which led to the discovery of two non-factory compartments in the rear wheel wells. CBP officers removed 26 packages of marijuana weighing 30 pounds. The drugs, worth an estimated $15,000 and vehicle were processed for seizure.
Each of the subjects and cases above were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation. Individuals arrested are charged with a criminal complaint, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The final marijuana seizure of the day, involved a 16-year-old female who attempted to enter the United States through a pedestrian lane at the San Luis Port and was referred to a secondary inspection area for additional questioning. When officers conducted a routine pat down search of the teen, they located three packages of marijuana, weighing three pounds, taped around the girl's mid-section. She was taken into custody and turned over to the San Luis Police.
CBP announced the JFC-AZ in February as an organizational realignment that brings together the U.S. Border Patrol, Air and Marine, and Field Operations under a unified command structure. The JFC-AZ integrates the CBP border security, commercial enforcement, and trade facilitation missions to more effectively meet the unique challenges faced in Arizona.
The CBP Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation's ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also involves border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade regulations, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.
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.