Tucson, Ariz. - On three occasions over the weekend, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents conducting checkpoint operations discovered narcotics within hidden compartments located in the vehicles. The total weight of the marijuana was 770 pounds, having an estimated value of $616,000.
A canine team working at the State Route 80 checkpoint alerted to a pickup truck. This led to a physical inspection of the truck causing the discovery of a hidden compartment located in the bed of the truck. Fifty-four bundles of marijuana were recovered weighing more than 60 pounds.
On Saturday, a canine team working the State Route 90 checkpoint alerted to a box truck. Upon further inspection, agents uncovered bundles of marijuana hidden in a heating and cooling duct. A total of 30 bundles were seized with an approximate weight of 675 pounds.
A canine team working the Interstate 19 checkpoint alerted to a pickup truck Sunday morning. While in secondary agents discovered a hidden compartment containing 14 packages of marijuana. The contraband weighed nearly 35 pounds.
Traffic checkpoint operations is part of the Border Patrol's Defense-in-Depth strategy and continues to be an effective means to stemming the flow of illicit contraband into the interior of the United States. By combining the right technology and assets, such as canine teams, the Border Patrol has created a formidable force to secure our communities. From Oct. 1, 2009 to Mar. 31, 2010, the Tucson Sector Border Patrol seized 552,000 pounds of marijuana valued at more than $441 million. During the same time frame last year Tucson Sector seized approximately 595,000 pound of marijuana.
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.