TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Arizona’s Port of Nogales seized a combined $598,000 in heroin and cocaine during three recent incidents.
Officers working at the Mariposa crossing Thursday referred a 21-year-old Mexican woman for further inspection of her Ford SUV. During the inspection, a CBP narcotics-detection canine’s alert led officers to find multiple packages of heroin and cocaine within the vehicle’s firewall. Officers removed more than 14 pounds of heroin, worth approximately $247,000, and more than 12 pounds of cocaine worth close to $138,000.
Officers working with a narcotics-detection canine at the Dennis DeConcini crossing Friday found more than 13 pounds of cocaine, worth an estimated $150,000, inside the rear quarter panel of a Dodge sedan driven by a 26-year-old Phoenix woman.
Also on Friday, officers working with a narcotics-detection canine at the Mariposa crossing referred a 20-year-old Mexican woman in an Oldsmobile sedan for a secondary inspection. During the inspection, officers discovered almost 4 pounds of heroin taped to the woman’s body. The drugs are estimated to be worth nearly $63,000.
Officers seized all narcotics and vehicles involved in the smuggling attempts. All subjects were arrested and turned 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 for 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.