Nogales, Ariz. - This past weekend in four separate incidents, U.S. CBP officers assigned to the Tucson Field Office, seized more than 300 pounds of drugs, with a combined value exceeding $1.4 million. In addition, they prevented the illegal export of $16,000 in U.S currency.
"These CBP officers are dedicated and vigilant in our fight against crime involving any type of illicit activity whether it is coming into or leaving the United States," said Nogales Area Port Director Guadalupe Ramirez. "We are committed to disrupting, denying and dismantling the operations of transnational criminal organizations."
On Friday, officers referred a 53-year-old Mexican male for a secondary inspection. When a narcotics detection canine alerted to the vehicle, officers placed the subject in custody and conducted a further search. Subsequently, officers located and removed 16 packages of marijuana weighing nearly 77 pounds and worth an estimated $38,500. The subject was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
Saturday evening, CBP officers conducting outbound inspections at the Dennis DeConcini Port boarded a commercial bus to perform an inspection of the crew and passengers. While questioning passengers about weapons, ammunition or undeclared currency in excess of $10,000, one passenger claimed to have currency within the acceptable threshold. When officers removed the man to confirm the amount, their count was in excess of $16,000. The undeclared U.S. currency was seized and the subject was released without further incident.
Also Saturday evening, officers at the Mariposa commercial Port referred a 19-year-old Tucson man for a secondary. After a narcotics detection canine alerted to the vehicle, officers located 18 packages of marijuana in the vehicle's fuel tank. The marijuana, weighing nearly 47 pounds, had an estimated value of $23,500. The subject was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
Earlier Saturday, officers referred a 53-year-old Mexican man for a secondary inspection. When a narcotics detection canine alerted to the vehicle, officers began an intensive inspection that led to the discovery of 20 packages of cocaine in the fuel tank. The packages, with a combined weight of more than 50 pounds, had an estimated value of $455,000. The subject was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
Early Sunday, officers referred a 50-year-old Mexican man for a secondary inspection. During routine inspection, they noticed a suspicious sound when checking the fuel tank. A narcotics detection canine was then used to search the vehicle and alerted to the fuel tank. After removing the fuel tank, officers discovered 41 packages of cocaine weighing almost 28 pounds and 30 packages of crystal methamphetamine weighing 40 pounds of methamphetamine. The combination of seized drugs had an estimated value of more than $874,000. The subject was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
Individuals arrested are charged with a criminal complaint, which 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.
CBP announced the JFC-AZ in February 2011 as an organizational realignment that brings together the U.S. Border Patrol, Air and Marine, and Field Operations under a unified command structure. The JFC-AZ integrates CBP's border security, commercial enforcement, and trade facilitation missions to more effectively meet the unique challenges faced in the Arizona area of operations.
CBP's Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked primarily 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 responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.