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CBP Officers Apprehend Marijuana Backpacker at Douglas Port of Entry

Release Date: 
September 3, 2010

Douglas, Ariz. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers apprehended an illegal immigrant that was attempting to leave the U.S. undetected. Through further investigation CBP officers learned that the illegal immigrant had been working in the U.S. as a "mule," a term used for anyone that carries marijuana bundles on their backs in an attempt to smuggle marijuana or any other contraband into the interior of the U.S.

On Sept. 3, at approximately 2 p.m., CBP officers were screening travelers in the outbound lane that directs traffic from the U.S. into Mexico. The officers noticed a suspicious man walking south toward Mexico in the pedestrian lane and stopped him for a further interview.

The man was identified as a 31-year-old Mexican national and resident of Los Moches, Sinaloa, Mexico. Further investigation revealed the man had been working in the U.S. as a Mule. The man has carried heavy backpacks weighing 45 to 80 pounds full of marijuana through rough mountain and desert terrain to designated rendezvous points. There the marijuana would then be transported by vehicle further into the interior of the U.S.

The man was taken into custody by CBP officers and was transported to the Florence, Ariz. Detention Facility while waiting an appearance before a federal magistrate.

In the past four weeks, 13 mules have been apprehended by CBP officers as they have attempted to exit the U.S. undetected.

"Securing our nation's borders is a two -old commitment," said Michael Humphries, area port director for the Douglas and Naco ports of entry. "CBP is committed to screening everything that enters or exits through our nation's borders; targeting all criminal elements. The days the bad guys can commit a criminal act and run back into Mexico to escape the consequences of the law unchallenged have come to an end. CBP remains vigilant as guardians of our nation."

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.

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.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017