Tucson, Ariz. - Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to Checkpoint operations Wednesday had two seizures in two separate incidents. A total of 240 pounds of marijuana were seized with an estimated value of $192,000.
With the help of a canine team, Willcox agents assigned to the Highway 80 Checkpoint discovered 96 bundles of marijuana, weighing more than 100 pounds with an estimated value of more than $80,000, hidden in a concealed compartment of a vehicle. The vehicle and marijuana were seized and transported to the Willcox Station for processing. The occupants are being held pending prosecution.
In a separate incident, Nogales Station agents working at the Interstate 19 Checkpoint discovered more than 140 pounds of marijuana concealed within the vehicle, after a canine team alerted to the vehicle during inspection. The vehicle and marijuana, with an estimated value of more than $112,000, were seized and taken to the Nogales Station for processing.
The occupants are being held pending prosecution.
"As Tucson Sector continues to gain operational control of our borders, the smugglers are turning to more desperate means of transporting their narcotics into the interior of United States. Checkpoint operations, paired with effective Border Patrol canine teams and technology, are continuing to thwart the flow of illegal narcotics from entering our communities," said Chief Patrol Agent Victor M. Manjarrez, Jr.
Checkpoints remain a vital component of the Border Patrol's defense-in-depth strategy. By combining the effective contraband detection capabilities of canine teams with checkpoint operations, agents continue to curb the flow of illegal drugs into the interior of the United States. From Oct. 1, 2009, to Aug. 31, 2010, the Tucson Sector Border Patrol seized more than 943,000 pounds of marijuana valued in excess of $754 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.