YUMA, Ariz. – During two smuggling attempts Tuesday, Border Patrol agents seized $652,500 worth of marijuana and arrested one U.S. citizen attempting to smuggle two illegal immigrants around the Wellton Station checkpoint on Interstate 8 east of Yuma.
Border Patrol agents first received assistance from Mother Nature when a vehicle attempted to slip more than 1,300 pounds of marijuana into the United States through the international boundary fence. Agents discovered an opening cut into the fence, in a western section of the Sonoran Desert, and followed tire tracks approximately two miles to a vehicle stuck in the sand. The driver, a male Mexican national, was arrested while attempting to abscond from agents.
The drugs, vehicle and suspect were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.
In the second incident, agents stopped a vehicle driving through Dome Valley during an apparent attempt to circumvent the Wellton Station checkpoint on Interstate 8. Agents arrested the driver, a U.S. citizen, and two Mexican men illegally present in the U.S.
The driver will be presented for prosecution for alien smuggling. The Mexican nationals will be processed per Yuma Sector guidelines.
Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents effectively combat smuggling organizations attempting to illegally transport people and contraband through southwestern Arizona and California. Citizens can help the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling 1-866-999-8727 toll-free to report suspicious activity. Callers can 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.