Wellton, Ariz. - U.S. Border Patrol agents seized several bundles of marijuana and arrested five suspected smugglers Thursday in a desolate area of the southwest Arizona desert.
Border Patrol agents assigned to Camp Grip detected the illegal entry of a group of seven individuals at about 10:30 a.m. yesterday. Agents tracked the group for several four hours before apprehending five of the seven suspected smugglers carrying six makeshift backpacks full of marijuana. Agents determined that the remaining two subjects turned around and returned to Mexico to avoid arrest.
Agents transported the group and backpacks of marijuana to the Wellton Border Patrol Station for processing. The backpacks weighed a total of 271 pounds with an estimated street value of $217,200.
At the station, agents ran records checks on the suspected smugglers, which revealed that one of the five was a convicted felon with extensive criminal and immigration histories.
Camp Grip is Yuma Sector's forward operating base that is designed to maintain operational control of the seam between the Tucson and Yuma Sectors. The success of Camp Grip demonstrates the Border Patrol's unique ability to deploy a dynamic and mobile enforcement response to target specific threats along the border. Despite a 94 percent decrease in cross-border activity since 2005, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents continue to encounter drug smugglers and criminal aliens attempting to enter the country illegally through the desolate southwest Arizona desert.
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.