TUCSON, Ariz. – Customs and Border Protection officers arrested three Mexican nationals and two U.S. citizens allegedly involved in separate smuggling attempts over the weekend at the Port of Nogales, resulting in the seizure of nearly 115 pounds of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.
Officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing referred David Espinoza-Maldonado, 23, of Cananea, Sonora, Mexico, for further inspection Monday (Oct. 12) of his Mercury sedan. A CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs within the center floor console where officers found just more than 20 pounds of heroin worth more than $285,000.
On Saturday (Oct. 10), officers at the Mariposa crossing referred Frida Catalina Ibarra-Mendez, 39, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, for further inspection of her Nissan sedan. After a CBP canine alerted to the presence of drugs within a front wheel well, officers found more than 32 pounds of meth worth nearly $97,000.
At the DeConcini crossing, officers referred Mayte Itzamar Rivera-Alcala, 22, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and her 22-year-old passenger, Paola Lopez, of Sahuarita, Arizona, for further inspection of Rivera’s Toyota sedan. A canine team alerted to the vehicle’s doors where officers found more than 18 pounds of heroin worth almost $258,000.
Later in the day, a DeConcini officer referred Ricardo Alday-Valez, 26, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, for further inspection. A CBP canine then alerted officers to the discovery of more than 37 pounds of heroin and a small amount of cocaine. Combined, the drugs are worth an estimated $524,400.
On Friday (Oct. 9), Mariposa officers referred Salvador Alejandro Jara, 21, of Casa Grande, Arizona, for an additional inspection of his Toyota sedan. A canine team then alerted to the passenger door where officers found almost seven pounds of meth worth nearly $20,000.
CBP officers seized all drugs and turned all suspects over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
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.