Wellton, Ariz. - U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested three suspected drug smugglers and seized several backpacks full of marijuana Tuesday evening in a desolate area of the southwest Arizona desert.
At about 7 a.m., Border Patrol agents assigned to Yuma Sector's Camp Grip detected the illegal entry of several individuals about 30 miles west of the Lukeville, Ariz.
Utilizing a Border Patrol agent's most fundamental and valuable skill, signcutting, agents tracked the group for more than 12 hours before they apprehended three suspected smugglers and seized five makeshift backpacks of marijuana.
Agents transported the marijuana and the three smugglers to the Wellton Border Patrol Station. The suspected smugglers will be processed for removal and the marijuana will be processed for destruction. A total of 236 pounds of marijuana was seized with an estimated street value of $188,800.
During the month of December, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents seized 3,954 pounds of marijuana worth about $2.9 million.
Camp Grip is Yuma Sector's tactically deployed forward operating base that is designed to maintain operational control of the seam between the Yuma and Tucson Sectors. The success of Camp Grip demonstrates the Border Patrol's ability to mobilize its enforcement stance along the southwest border where needed. These bases act as a deterrent and an additional detection platform, ensuring that smuggling organizations understand that if they operate in these areas, they will be pursued and apprehended.
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.