Tucson, Ariz. - In three separate incidents, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents patrolling in the West Desert seized more than 1,250 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of more than $1 million over the holiday weekend.
Saturday, agents assigned to the Casa Grande Station found footprints of suspected illegal aliens. Agents followed the footprints for several hours until discovering 10 bundles of marijuana, weighing more than 500 pounds and valued at more than $405,000. After securing the abandoned marijuana, a thorough search of the area was conducted for the smugglers without success.
In a separate incident, Casa Grande agents stopped a vehicle driving off-road in the West Desert Friday. A canine team alerted to the vehicle and agents discovered more than 100 pounds of marijuana, valued at more than $82,000, concealed within the gas tank. In both incidents the marijuana was taken to the Casa Grande Station for processing.
Friday morning agents from the Ajo Station found footprints of a group of suspected illegal aliens. With assistance from Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine (OAM) agents recovered 13 bundles of marijuana weighing more than 650 pounds and a value of more than $523,000. A thorough search of the area was conducted but agents were unable to locate any smugglers. The marijuana was transported to the Ajo Station for processing.
"Our collective goal is to greatly reduce the likelihood that narcotics can be successfully smuggled through the West Desert." said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Raleigh Leonard. "With continued deployments of sophisticated detection technology, increasing numbers of agents, and enhanced communication amongst Southern Arizona law enforcement agencies, it's becoming increasingly difficult for narcotic traffickers to conduct operations without being detected."
The Border Patrol continues to rely on the community to ensure that illicit drugs or activity do not reach further into our communities. Should you see suspicious activity please report it to our toll free number at (1-877) 872-7435. All calls will be answered and will 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.