Three people were arrested Wednesday in two separate incidents for attempting to smuggle a combined 228 pounds of marijuana through the Port of Douglas.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers first referred a pair of 17-year-old girls - one a Douglas resident, the other a Mexican national - for further inspection of the Audi sedan they were driving. After a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted to the vehicle, officers located 21 packages of marijuana, weighing 33 pounds and worth an estimated $17,000, hidden inside the vehicle's rear bumper and back seats.
Later, officers arrested a 25-year-old Douglas man after a CBP canine alerted to drugs throughout his Chevrolet coupe. Officers removed 134 packages of marijuana, weighing more than 195 pounds and valued at nearly $88,000, from throughout the vehicle. Drugs were found inside the front bumper, quarter panels, back seats, speaker box and the trunk.
All three subjects were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations. The drugs and vehicles were seized.
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.
CBP officers working at Arizona's ports are assigned to the Office of Field Operations, the primary organization within Customs and Border Protection tasked with an anti-terrorism mission. 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.