Tucson, Ariz. - In four separate incidents over the weekend, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents seized a total of 2,819 pounds of marijuana and an AK-57 with 34 rounds of ammunition. The marijuana was valued at $1.4 million.
Friday evening, Casa Grande agents observed two vehicles driving through the desert near Vekol Valley, Ariz. Responding agents tracked the vehicles and found 89 bundles of marijuana abandoned near one of the vehicles. The other vehicle was found abandoned nearby. The marijuana weighed 1,870 pounds and had an estimated value of $935,000. Record checks revealed the two vehicles were reported stolen out of Glendale, Ariz. The vehicles were turned over to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office. The narcotics were transported to the Casa Grande station for processing.
On Saturday, Casa Grande agents assigned to primary inspection at the State Route 86 checkpoint noticed a vehicle with two suspicious bundles in the back seat. When agents directed the vehicle to secondary inspection, the vehicle fled the scene. The vehicle was later found abandoned about a mile and a half from the checkpoint. While securing the vehicle, agents discovered 273 pounds of marijuana valued at $136,500. The vehicle and marijuana were seized and transported to the Casa Grande Station for processing.
In a separate incident on Saturday, Nogales Station agents assigned to the All-Terrain Vehicle Unit responded to a report of illegal activity on the west side of Nogales, Ariz. Upon arrival, agents observed several individuals flee to Mexico. A search of the immediate area resulted in the discovery of 12 bundles of marijuana, weighing approximately 676 pounds, with an estimated value of $338,000. The narcotics were seized and transported to the Nogales Station for processing.
On Sunday, the Casa Grande Police Department located a vehicle that had fled from agents earlier in the day. A subsequent search by agents of the area where the vehicle had been abandoned led to the discovery of an AK-47 assault rifle and 34 rounds of ammunition. The vehicle was seized and transported to the Casa Grande Border Patrol Station for processing. The Pinal County Sheriff's Office took custody of the assault rifle and ammunition.
Experience, dedication and vigilance continue to serve as invaluable traits for Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents fighting transnational criminal organizations, making them major obstacles for drug traffickers.
Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, the Department of Homeland Security has made significant investments toward establishing a secure and safe border environment and improving the quality of life throughout Arizona communities.
The Border Patrol welcomes assistance from the community. Report suspicious activity by calling toll free 1 (877) 872-7435. All calls will be answered and will 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.