CBP Officers Arrest 8, Seize Almost $2M in Drugs
TUCSON, Ariz. — Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of Nogales seized more than 500 pounds of illegal drugs and arrested eight individuals during multiple weekend smuggling attempts involving cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine.
Officers at the Mariposa crossing referred a 66-year-old male Mexican national, living legally in Tucson, for further questioning and a secondary inspection of the Lexus sedan he was driving on April 25. After a CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to drugs in the vehicle, officers removed multiple packages from the firewall area containing more than 29 pounds of cocaine worth close to $329,000.
On April 24, officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing referred a 26-year-old male resident of Nogales, Arizona for further inspection of his Cadillac sedan. A narcotics-detection canine then alerted officers to the location of nearly 24 pounds of meth, worth almost $71,000, hidden in the vehicle’s quarter panels.
On the same day, officers at the DeConcini crossing found more than 27 pounds of meth, worth in excess of $82,000, inside a BMW sedan belonging to a 25-year-old Phoenix woman. A drug detection canine alerted officers to the vehicle containing the drugs.
The day before, officers at the DeConcini crossing first referred a 32-year-old Mexican woman driving a Nissan van for further inspection and found more than 140 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $70,000, in the rear cargo area. Later, a 29-year-old Mexican woman and her 19-year-old female passenger attempted to enter the U.S. with more than 152 pounds of liquid meth, worth almost $457,000, in the fuel tank of their Ford SUV. A narcotics-detection canine alerted to the location.
On April 22, officers referred a 51-year-old Tucson woman for further inspection of her Suzuki SUV when she attempted to enter the U.S. through the Mariposa crossing. A canine team alerted officers to the rear quarter panels where they retrieved nearly 20 pounds of heroin worth more than $341,000, and more than 15 pounds of meth worth in excess of $45,000.
Also on April 22, officers at the DeConcini crossing referred a 38-year-old woman from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, for further inspection of her Chevrolet SUV. A canine alert led to the discovery of more than five pounds of heroin, worth almost $91,000, and more than 98 pounds of meth worth close to $295,000.
Officers seized all drugs and vehicles, and turned the subjects over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Acting Nogales Port Director Joe Agosttini praised the efforts of his officers, “This level of smuggling activity lends itself to the fact that drug smugglers don’t take days off, but neither does the coverage by our CBP officers. Our resources in Nogales combine manpower, infrastructure and technology to combat the efforts of smugglers, while at the same time facilitating legitimate trade and travel.”
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.