Tucson, Ariz. - U.S. Border Patrol Canine teams continue to be a vital tool for checkpoint operations by making two significant seizures, within hours of each other, yesterday at the Interstate 19 checkpoint.
In the first seizure, a sedan approached the checkpoint where a Border Patrol canine team was operating in the primary inspection lane. The canine alerted to the vehicle and the driver was referred to secondary.
In secondary, a cursory inspection of the trunk was performed where the canine team alerted. Agents discovered five bundles of marijuana weighing more than 125 pounds. The agents also discovered possible counterfeit currency and identification documents. The driver, passenger, vehicle and contraband were taken to the Nogales Station for processing.
Less than two hours later, a canine team alerted to another vehicle in the primary inspection lane. Agents referred the truck to secondary and the canine team performed a second cursory sniff and alerted to the vehicle's gas tank. Agents performed an interior inspection of the gas tank and discovered 36 packages of marijuana weighing more than 98 pounds. The driver, vehicle and contraband were taken to the Nogales Station for processing.
"The men and women of the Nogales station remain professional and vigilant while conducting critical security operations to keep our nation safe and free of illicit contraband." Stated Nogales Patrol Agent in Charge Thomas Rudd; "Yesterday's seizures are an example of their hard work and diligence."
Vigilance to duty combined with canine teams has strengthened the Border Patrol's "Defense-in-Depth" strategy and curbs the flow of illegal drugs and other contraband from reaching the interior of the United States.
From Oct. 1, 2009, to May 31, 2010, the Tucson Sector Border Patrol seized more than 712,000 pounds of marijuana exceeding $569 million in value.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.