Ajo, Ariz. - Border Patrol Agents working in the West Desert seized more than 895 pounds of marijuana valued at $715,000 in two separate incidents and also recovered a loaded handgun.
While tracking a group of suspected illegal aliens in the West Desert on Saturday, agents assigned to the Ajo Station encountered a group of four illegal aliens carrying backpacks of marijuana. The agents arrested the smugglers and seized the marijuana which had a weight of 318 pounds and an estimated value of more than $254,000. During a search of the immediate area, the agents discovered a backpack which contained a loaded hand gun. The drugs, the illegal aliens and the firearm were transported to the Ajo Station for further processing. Prosecution is being sought for the smugglers.
Monday, agents assigned to the Casa Grande Station stopped a suspicious vehicle in the West Desert near San Miguel, Ariz. A canine team responded and alerted to the vehicle. Upon an internal inspection of the vehicle, the agents discovered more than 577 pounds of marijuana valued at $461,000 concealed in hidden compartments. The drugs and the driver were transported to the Casa Grande Station for further processing. Prosecution is being sought for the driver.
"At every given moment of the day there are a multitude of men and women from a variety of law enforcement agencies working together to secure the border and ensure a safer environment for the citizenry of the State of Arizona," said Associate Chief of the West Desert, Raleigh Leonard. "There is always a sense of satisfaction when an enforcement action is taken, the illegal activity disrupted, and those involved are arrested."
From Oct. 1, 2009, to August 31, 2010, the Tucson Sector Border Patrol seized more than 940,800 pounds of drugs exceeding $752 million in value.
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.