San Luis, Ariz. - A Yuma woman was arrested Friday morning for attempting to smuggle $598,000 worth of cocaine into the United States.
Customs and Border Protection officers referred Patricia Contreras, 30, for additional inspection of her Honda SUV. After a narcotics detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs, officers found 25 packages of cocaine weighing nearly 66 pounds.
The drugs and vehicle were seized and Contreras was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
Acting San Luis Port Director Robert Schroeder praised his fellow CBP officers for the prevention of a dangerous narcotic from reaching U.S. communities.
"The outstanding work by our frontline CBP officers at the San Luis port resulted in the seizure of this load of cocaine at the border," he said. "I applaud our officers for their vigilance and for the arrest of this would-be smuggler."
Individuals arrested may be charged by complaint, the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Customs and Border Protection tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation's ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.
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.