YUMA, ARIZ.—U.S. Border Patrol agents from Yuma Sector's Blythe Station seized $47,888 in cash and 210 pounds of marijuana in three separate incidents yesterday while conducting checkpoint operations on Interstate 10.
Agents referred a 2005 pickup truck to secondary inspection following a canine team alert. After the driver consented to a vehicle search, agents found $34,971 cash and .5 grams of hashish oil, a derivative of cannabis. The cash, suspects, vehicle and hashish oil were turned over to the La Paz County Sheriff's Office.
Agents also referred a grey Infinity to secondary inspection following a canine team alert. After the driver consented to a vehicle search, agents discovered five bundles of cash totaling $10,000 bound together with rubber bands inside luggage.
Minutes later, agents referred a rented Toyota Camry to secondary inspection following a canine team alert. Agents received consent to search the vehicle and found eight bundles containing marijuana in the trunk. During an ensuing investigation, it was discovered that the driver of the grey Infinity detained earlier, had signed the rental agreement for the silver Toyota Camry. The marijuana, worth an estimated $105,375, as well as the $10,000 in cash, vehicles and five subjects were turned over to the La Paz County Sheriff's Office.
Later the same day, agents referred a vehicle to secondary inspection following a canine team alert. Consent was granted for a vehicle search. The search revealed, hidden in the trunk of the vehicle, $2,917 cash inside a duffle bag along with 25.5 grams of marijuana. Both the driver and passenger denied ownership of the $2,917. The cash, marijuana, and both occupants were turned over to the La Paz County Sheriff's Office.
When Border Patrol agents discover large amounts of currency during checkpoint inspections, they investigate further to determine whether the currency has a nexus to illicit activity. During fiscal year 2011, the Yuma Sector seized more than $800,000 determined as profits generated from illegal activity.
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.