TUCSON, ARIZ.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Joint Field Command - Arizona reports the seizure of almost 30,000 pounds of narcotics valued in excess of $16.2 million, and the apprehension of 2,554 illegal and 146 inadmissible immigrants at the Arizona border Jan. 9 - 15.
Narcotics seizures consisted of more than 29,700 pounds of marijuana, 46 pounds of cocaine, 41 pounds of methamphetamines and 64 pounds of heroin. CBP also intercepted $121,299 in illegal outbound currency, 3,489 rounds of ammunition and 58 vehicles used for illicit purposes.
Last week, the Border Patrol in Arizona presented 624 individuals in federal court for prosecution. Of those, 565 were prosecuted on immigration charges; 400 under Operation Streamline, seven for alien smuggling and 52 on federal drug charges.
On May 30, 2011, Border Patrol agents working in the west desert arrested 38-year-old Alfredo Bautista-Jeronimo, a Mexican national from Mexico City, for attempt or conspiracy to possess or distribute marijuana. At the time of his arrest, Bautista was one of a group of individuals smuggling more than 242 pounds of marijuana on foot through the desert. He was sentenced Jan. 11, 2012, in U.S. District Court to 60 months in prison. Bautista was convicted in 2004 in Seattle for manufacture/delivery of Schedule I/II narcotics and conspiracy, and received 90 days in jail with 12 months of supervised probation. CBP considers drug smuggling a serious offense and is determined to prosecute smugglers to the fullest extent of the law.
Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, the Department of Homeland Security, under Secretary Janet Napolitano, has engaged in an unprecedented effort to bring focus and intensity to Southwest border security; coupled with a reinvigorated, smart and effective approach to enforcing immigration laws.
Joint Field Command-Arizona integrates combined assets from the Tucson and Yuma Border Patrol Sectors, the Tucson Field Office, and the Office of Air and Marine's Tucson and Yuma Air Branches, enabling CBP leadership in Arizona to direct an integrated approach to border security, commercial enforcement and trade facilitation.
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.