Sentinel, Ariz. - U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested eight suspected drug smugglers and seized six backpacks loaded with marijuana near Sentinel, Ariz. early Tuesday morning.
At about 3 a.m., a Border Patrol agent detected a group of eight backpackers crossing the desert about five miles south of Interstate 8 near the Sentinel Rest Area.
The Border Patrol agent maintained a constant visual of the group while agents in the area moved into place to apprehend the suspected smugglers. As agents closed in, the group dropped their backpacks and ran north to avoid apprehension.
Through a coordinated effort, agents moved in on the group and apprehended all eight suspected smugglers. After a brief search of the area, agents recovered the six makeshift burlap-style backpacks containing eight bundles of marijuana.
The eight suspected smugglers and backpacks of marijuana were transported to the Wellton Border Patrol Station for processing. The backpacks contained 260 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $208,000. The smugglers will be processed for removal and the marijuana will be destroyed.
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.