SONOITA, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents seized nearly $1.4 million worth of marijuana from a pickup truck near Lochiel, Ariz., and arrested two Mexican nationals for narcotics smuggling on March 19.
At approximately noon, an Arizona based Office of Air and Marine (OAM) aircraft detected a suspicious vehicle traveling in a known smuggling area near the International Boundary on Forest Service Road 4795. Agents were notified and responded to the area immediately. The aircraft maintained a visual of the truck and observed the vehicle coming to a stop along with two subjects absconding southbound.
Upon arriving on the scene, agents discovered an abandoned Ford F-250 truck containing 119 wrapped bundles of marijuana weighing more than 2,700 pounds. After an extensive search of the area, a Border Patrol canine team discovered one subject hiding south of the abandoned vehicle and the OAM aircraft assisted agents in locating the second subject.
Both subjects were arrested for narcotics smuggling and the vehicle and narcotics were processed for seizure in accordance with Tucson Sector guidelines.
Transnational criminal organizations use a variety of methods in their attempts to transport narcotics into our communities. The use of detection technology enhances the Border Patrol’s ability to gain situational awareness in remote areas causing smugglers to abandon their drug loads rather than risk apprehension and federal prosecution. Border security is a joint effort between Customs and Border Protection, other law-enforcement partners and community stakeholders.
CBP 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.