Tucson, Ariz. - In two separate incidents Wednesday, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents seized more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of more than $1.2 million.
Agents responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the desert along Interstate 19. Using infrared technology, agents located the vehicle. Agents then discovered 48 bundles of marijuana inside the vehicle, weighing more than 1,045 pounds, with a value of more than $830,000. Agents, along with Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office (SCCSO) deputies, thoroughly searched the surrounding area for the driver and passenger to no avail. The vehicle was confirmed stolen. The vehicle and marijuana were seized and transported to the Nogales Station for processing.
In a second incident, agents assigned to the Casa Grande Station were patrolling in the West Desert and discovered a suspicious vehicle. Agents were assisted by the Border Patrol K9 team, which alerted to the presence of marijuana. The a search of the vehicle revealed 297 packages of marijuana with an estimated weight of more than 525 pounds, and a value of more than $420,000. The subjects, vehicle and marijuana were transported to the Casa Grande Station for processing.
"Vigilance, along with the keen contraband detection abilities of canine teams, has been critical to the drug interdiction effectiveness of our agents," said Chief Patrol Agent Victor M. Manjarrez, Jr. "Tucson Sector agents remain dedicated to preventing illegal narcotics from reaching our communities while improving the quality of life along the border."
Through the use of technology, as well as specialty units such as the canine teams; the agents assigned to Tucson sector continue to be extremely effective at detecting and seizing illegal drugs. 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.