Nogales, Ariz. - CBP officers working at the Port of Nogales made two significant marijuana seizures in the space of a couple of hours, stopping attempts at smuggling more than 5,340 pounds of marijuana into the country.
"Every day, our officers and agriculture specialists are out on the line, looking for threats to our way of life," said Port Director Guadalupe Ramirez, "and successes like this make their time and effort worth every minute."
The first interception happened at around 2:00 p.m., when officers inspecting an incoming cargo train noticed discrepancies in an x-ray image of a rail car. When they opened the car, the officers found 25 bundles of marijuana, weighing 593 pounds. Estimated value of the marijuana is more than $504,000.
The second interception happened at around 6:30 p.m, when officers inspecting commercial trucks and produce coming into the country selected a tractor and trailer carrying squash for inspection. Officers screening the vehicle with an x-ray system noticed discrepancies in the image and decided to conduct a full inspection of the vehicle and goods. The inspection revealed 212 bundles of marijuana mixed with the squash. A total of 4,748 pounds of marijuana was seized, along with the vehicle. Estimated value of the marijuana is more than $4 million.
The driver was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for further investigation.
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The Office of Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers' primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.
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.