Nogales, Arizona - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Mariposa, Ariz. port of entry earlier this week foiled an attempt to smuggle 143 pounds of marijuana into the United States. The street value of the illicit drug is estimated to be $343,000. A couple from Sonora, Mexico was arrested in connection with the failed attempt.
CBP officers Monday were screening travelers applying for entry into the U.S. when a couple from Sonora, Mexico applied for admission. The man and woman, who were both 34-years-of-age, were traveling in a 1997 Chrysler Sebring. After routine questioning, the primary officer referred the couple for further inspection.
During secondary examination, CBP officers noticed discrepancies with the trunk area of the vehicle. Officers utilized a narcotics detection dog who alerted to presence of narcotics near the vehicles trunk and backseat area. Officers removed the backseat and discovered packages hidden within the area. A total of 34 packages were removed. The packages contained marijuana weighing 143 pounds.
The narcotics and vehicle were seized. Both occupants of the vehicle were arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.
A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Office of Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers' primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in significant enforcement actions in all categories.
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.