Border Patrol Seizes $3.4 Million of Marijuana in 5 Days
TUCSON, ARIZ.—Tucson Sector Border Patrol seized more than 6,937 pounds of marijuana during a five-day span worth more than $3.4 million.
The first seizure occurred Friday in Paradise Valley, Ariz., when agents assigned to the West Desert Task Force recovered 1,029 pounds of marijuana in close proximity to an abandoned GMC Yukon. No suspects were located.
Saturday, at the Highway 80 checkpoint, agents arrested a U.S. citizen attempting to smuggle 17.5 pounds of marijuana concealed inside the rear cab wall/bulkhead of a black Chevrolet truck.
Later that evening, Tucson Sector agents found 37 bundles of marijuana, weighing more than 1,800 pounds, on the Tohono O’odham Nation near the village of Menagers. An extensive search of the area was conducted but no subjects were located.
The WDTF remained busy with multiple seizures throughout the weekend. Agents assigned to the WDTF uncovered 16 bundles of marijuana Sunday, weighing 725 pounds, after detecting and following ATV tracks near Cockelburr, Ariz. The following day, agents seized more than 1,020 pounds of marijuana near Mile Marker 150 on Interstate 8. During this incident agents discovered the narcotics while following ATV tracks in a wash that led to three abandoned ATVs loaded with large burlap bundles of marijuana. The ATVs and narcotics were seized. No suspects were arrested.
Tuesday, Tucson Sector agents confiscated more than 2,300 pounds of marijuana from a GMC Sierra pick-up truck near Sonoita, Ariz. After an agent attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver failed to yield. Instead, he accelerated and subsequently drove through a fence before coming to a stop. The driver then absconded from the scene on foot. Agents searched the truck and discovered 100 bundles of marijuana inside the cab and bed. The seizure was valued at almost $1.2 million. An extensive search of the area failed to locate the driver.
The U.S. citizen apprehended at the Highway 80 checkpoint is being presented for prosecution. All drugs and vehicles were processed for seizure in accordance with Tucson Sector guidelines.
The West Desert Task Force is a joint initiative between U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the Pinal County Sheriff's Office to combat narcotics trafficking in Arizona’s west desert region. The task force is sponsored by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, and works in association with the Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats.
The Tucson Sector Border Patrol strives to secure America’s borders through the disruption and degrading of transnational criminal organizations. Border security is a joint effort between Customs and Border Protection, other law-enforcement partners and community stakeholders.
CBP also welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous.
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.