TUCSON, Ariz. – Customs and Border Protection officers arrested three Mexican nationals and a U.S. citizen involved in separate weekend attempts to smuggle heroin and methamphetamine through the Port of Nogales.
Officers at the Mariposa crossing referred a 53-year-old Rio Rico, Ariz. man for a secondary inspection of his Ford van on Saturday morning (Oct. 8). After a CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to the vehicle’s rear quarter panels, officers seized close to 31 pounds of meth, worth nearly $92,000.
Later that day, a CBP canine working alongside officers at the DeConcini crossing helped locate nearly six pounds of heroin, valued at nearly $100,000. The drugs were hidden within the lining of a backpack inside of a Kia sedan belonging to the 38-year-old Mexican national female driver.
A third seizure Saturday at the Mariposa crossing also involved a canine alert to the presence of drugs within a Toyota sedan. Officers discovered nearly 21 pounds of meth within the dashboard of the vehicle belonging to a 25-year-old Mexican national female from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. The drugs are worth more than $65,000.
On Oct. 9, officers at the Mariposa crossing referred a 32-year-old Mexican national male from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, for further inspection of her Chevy van and discovered more than 20 pounds of meth. The drugs are worth nearly $61,000.
Officers seized all drugs and vehicles used in the smuggling attempts, and turned the subjects 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.