Tucson, Ariz. - U.S. Border Patrol agents seized more than 1,200 pounds of marijuana in two separate incidents worth and estimated value of $1 million.
In Nogales, Ariz., an agent operating a Mobile Surveillance System detected men on horseback in a canyon east of Nogales. Agents responded to the location and started tracking the horses, which led the agents to a set of tire tracks. The agents followed the tracks and discovered a vehicle concealed in the brush and 948 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated value of $759,000. The truck and marijuana were taken to the Nogales Station for processing. No arrests were made in connection with the marijuana.
In a second incident, agents performed a vehicle stop on a vehicle containing 286 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of $229,000. The driver abandoned the vehicle and fled into the desert; agents were able to successfully apprehend the driver a short time later. The driver is pending prosecution, and the vehicle and marijuana were transported to the Sonoita Station for processing.
Technology such as the MSS provides situational awareness to Border Patrol agents in the field. Despite the advancements in technology, agents continue to rely on the time-proven skill of tracking. Tracking continues to prove its effectiveness even though it's the oldest tool in the Border Patrol's arsenal. In the first four months off fiscal year 2010 (October through January), agents have seized more than 350,000 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value exceeding $287 million. During the same time frame last year, the Tucson Sector Border Patrol seized 341,000 pounds of marijuana.
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.