Tucson, Ariz. - Border Patrol agents from the Tucson Sector, in support of the Joint Field Command-Arizona, seized more than 2,600 pounds of marijuana and apprehended a man charged with first degree murder.
Agents working west of the Lukeville Port observed a suspicious vehicle driving off road this morning. When agents approached the vehicle, a 2000 Chevrolet SUV, they found it abandoned with 49 bundles of marijuana inside weighing 1,060 pounds. The marijuana, worth an estimated $530,000, and vehicle will be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Casa Grande Station agents responding to detection technology yesterday discovered and followed vehicle tracks off the highway leading to a 2002 Chevrolet SUV hidden under a camouflage tarp. Record checks revealed the vehicle was not registered in the United States. Agents recovered 111 bundles of marijuana from the abandoned SUV weighing more than 1,600 pounds and valued at $802,500. The narcotics will be turned over to the DEA.
Last night, Douglas Station agents arrested a 25-year-old male from Mexico for illegally entering the United States. Record checks through the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System revealed the subject had been previously charged with first degree murder and crimes against a child in 2007 in Oklahoma. The subject was previously removed and will now face federal criminal prosecution for illegal re-entry.
The likelihood of being detected by Border Patrol agents and the consequences of doing so are higher than ever before in Arizona. As a result, smugglers often choose to abandon their loads rather than risk apprehension.
CBP announced the Joint Field Command-Arizona in February 2011 as an organizational realignment that brings together Border Patrol, Air and Marine, and Field Operations in Arizona under a unified command structure. The JFC-AZ integrates CBP's border security, commercial enforcement, and trade facilitation missions to more effectively meet the unique challenges faced in Arizona.
Customs and Border Protection appreciates assistance from the community. Suspicious activity can be reported by calling the U.S. Border Patrol at (1-877) 872-7435. 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.