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Border Patrol Technology Detects Marijuana Smugglers on Horseback

Release Date: 
March 28, 2016

TUCSON, Ariz. – Border Patrol agents assigned to the Tucson Station seized two horses carrying large packs of marijuana through the desert Sunday evening near Sasabe.

Agents operating detection and surveillance technology observed two individuals on horseback cross into the United States illegally near Sasabe. The information was relayed to agents in the field, and a Border Patrol agent and an Air and Marine Operations helicopter responded to investigate. The smugglers continued to trek northbound until they heard the helicopter approaching. At that time, the two individuals dismounted the horses and fled back to Mexico. 

Agents seized the horses and marijuana, weighing approximately 95.5 pounds and worth almost $48,000. The horses will be turned over to the Arizona Department of Agriculture.

“These types of technology assets strengthens and multiplies Border Patrol effectiveness in a wide variety of scenarios in Tucson Sector’s unpredictable and remote terrain,” said Division Chief Raleigh Leonard. “Improved technology has enhanced our ability to deter, detect, identify, classify, and resolve border incursions.

“Technology also provides agents improved situational awareness and facilitates an appropriate level of response according to the level of threat,” he added. “Agents are advised in advance if the detected activity is armed narcotics traffickers or unarmed migrants.”

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017