Yuma, Ariz. - Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents seized more than a ton of marijuana in three separate incidents Thursday.
A Border Patrol canine team alerted to a vehicle at about 10 a.m. at the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 8 eastbound near Dateland, Ariz. During secondary inspection, agents discovered several plastic-wrapped bundles of marijuana inside the trunk. The packages weighed 265 pounds. Border Patrol agents arrested the driver, who was later turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The Border Patrol seized the vehicle and transported it along with the marijuana to the Wellton Border Patrol Station for processing.
About an hour later, with help from an Office of Air and Marine helicopter pilot, agents located 20 bundles of abandoned marijuana about 20 miles north of the border. Agents secured the contraband and transported it to the Wellton Border Patrol Station. The marijuana, which weighed 408 pounds, was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Later that day in the early evening hours, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Yuma Station detected the illegal entry of a GMC Yukon about 30 miles east of the San Luis, Ariz. port of entry. As Border Patrol agents responded to the incursion, the driver of the Yukon did an abrupt turn around and proceeded back towards the border. Agents followed the Yukon until the driver and passenger abandoned the vehicle and fled back into Mexico. Agents secured the vehicle and discovered 105 bundles of marijuana weighing 1,348 pounds stuffed inside. The vehicle and marijuana were taken to the Yuma Border Patrol Station where the Drug Enforcement Administration took custody of both.
In all, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a suspected drug smuggler, and seized two vehicles and a total of 2,021 pounds of marijuana Thursday. The drugs had a combined estimated street value of $1.6 million.
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.