CBP Officers Seize Marijuana over One Weekend Period
Tucson, Ariz. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers (CBP) in Arizona made several drug seizures of marijuana over this past weekend totaling almost 180 pounds with an estimated street valued of more than $334,000.
On Friday at approximately 5 p.m., CBP officers at the Nogales DeConcini port of entry referred a 30-year-old male U.S. Citizen who is a Nogales resident for a further inspection of his Maroon 2001 Mazda sedan. The man told officers he had just purchased the vehicle in Nogales, Sonora Mexico and was planning to drive it to the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles to register it. The secondary inspection led to the discovery of several non-factory compartments which could be used to smuggle drugs. Although there were no drugs discovered inside the vehicle, it was turned over to the Metro Task Force in Santa Cruz County.
On Saturday at approximately 7 p.m., CBP officers at the Douglas port of entry referred a 32-year-old female Mexican national driving a 1991 Gray Ford sedan for a secondary inspection. During the search, officers removed a speaker cover from the inside of the vehicle and located several brown packages containing marijuana. A narcotics detection dog alerted to additional packages containing marijuana concealed inside the front and back bumpers. A total of 54 packages weighing more than 78 pounds. The woman was arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for prosecution.
On Saturday at approximately 8:30 p.m., CBP officers at the San Luis port of entry stopped an 18-year-old male U.S. citizen Yuma resident who appeared to be walking in a strange manner through the pedestrian lanes. The subject was questioned and a routine pat down inspection was performed. During the pat down CBP officers discovered four vacuum sealed packages taped to his thighs and ankles weighing. The man and the drugs were turned over to San Luis, Ariz. Department of Police for prosecution.
Also on Sunday, at about 8:30 a.m., CBP officers at the San Luis port of entry referred a 38-year-old female U. S. citizen from Yuma, Ariz. for a secondary inspection. During the search of her silver 2004 KIA sedan, officers located a total of eight packages of marijuana, weighing more than 31 pounds. The drugs and vehicle were seized and the woman was turned over to ICE for prosecution.
On Sunday at approximately 12 p.m., CBP officers were screening travelers in the inbound lanes from Mexico into the United States at the Mariposa port of entry in Nogales, Ariz. A 33-year old female Mexico national was directed to a secondary search of her Oldsmobile sedan. A search of the dash and firewall areas led to the discovery of 15 packages of marijuana in a non-factory compartment in the dashboard. The total weight was 21 pounds. The drugs and vehicle were seized. The woman was arrested and turned over to ICE for prosecution.
On Sunday, at approximately 3:30 p.m., CBP officers at the Nogales DeConcini port of entry referred a Dodge SUV with a family of four Mexican nationals for a secondary inspection. Once the family was escorted into the waiting area, the subsequent inspection led to the discovery of 27 packages of marijuana inside the gas tank. The mother and father were placed under arrest and turned over to ICE for prosecution. Their 22-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter were allowed to return to Mexico. The drugs and vehicle were seized.
"Securing our Nation's Borders is a full-time job that we take very seriously," said Tucson Director of Field Operations David Higgerson. "Our officers are committed to improving the quality of life along our border with Mexico. The certainty of arrest is higher than ever before, as CBP remains vigilant as guardians of our nation's borders."
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 impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.