Tucson, Ariz. - Border Patrol agents working separate checkpoints in the Tucson Sector stopped 3,300 pounds of marijuana from reaching our communities. In three separate incidents agents located vehicles attempting to drive around checkpoints and seized more than $2.6 million in marijuana over the weekend.
Yesterday agents from the Tucson Station, working near the checkpoint on Highway 86, noticed a vehicle attempting to drive around the checkpoint. Agents approached the vehicle and two people absconded from the truck. Agents discovered 740 pounds of marijuana valued at $592,000 inside. Agents searched the area but were unable to locate the subjects. The marijuana and truck were taken to the Tucson Station for processing.
Willcox Station agents were working at the checkpoint on Highway 90 on Saturday and noticed a vehicle driving on a dirt road that circumvents the checkpoint. Agents responded and located the vehicle abandoned with more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana. Agents searched for the driver but were unable to locate anyone. The marijuana valued at more than $1.2 million was taken to the Willcox Station for processing.
Friday agents from the Nogales Station working around the checkpoint on Interstate 19 noticed a dust cloud on a dirt road near the checkpoint. Agents followed the dust trail and discovered an abandoned truck with more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana valued at $828,000. Agents searched the area for suspects but were unable to find anyone in connection with the truck. The marijuana and truck were taken to the Nogales Station for processing.
Tucson Sector has tactical checkpoints placed on major routes of egress making it harder for smugglers to move their loads into our communities. Agents remain vigilant at, near and around checkpoints, strengthening the Border Patrol's "defense in depth" strategy. From Oct. 1, 2009, to May 31, 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 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.