TUCSON, Ariz. – Customs and Border Protection Field Operations officers prevented two Mexican women from passing through the Port of Nogales April 13 with almost 54 pounds of cocaine, worth nearly $609,000.
Officers referred Maria Enriquez Davila, 45, and her 39-year-old passenger, Marelina Benitez Valenzuela, for a secondary inspection after a CBP narcotics-detection canine at the Mariposa crossing alerted to an odor emanating from the Subaru sedan. During the inspection, a non-intrusive x-ray scan revealed anomalies in the vehicle’s seats, which turned out to be 20 packages of cocaine.
Officers seized the drugs and vehicle, and turned the subject over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Federal law allows officers to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
CBP's Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked 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 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.