TUCSON, ARIZ.—Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents arrested 27 suspected smugglers and seized 2,592 pounds of marijuana and a vehicle within the last 48 hours.
Tuesday, Casa Grande agents working near the Federal Route 15 checkpoint observed a pickup truck driving off-road in the desert near Kohatk, Ariz. Agents responded to the location and attempted to conduct a vehicle stop. The driver and passenger then jumped from the moving truck. Agents managed to stop the run-away vehicle and discovered another subject, a male Mexican national, concealed in the bed of the truck along with 27 bundles of marijuana. The marijuana, weighing 630 pounds and worth an estimated $315,000, and vehicle were transported to the Casa Grande Station for further processing. The man, a resident of Sonora, faces possible federal prosecution.
Yesterday afternoon, the Ajo Station's All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV), working east of the Lukeville Port along the international boundary, conducted foot-sign tracking operations that led them to 15 bundles of marijuana concealed in a wash. The narcotics, weighing 762 pounds and worth an estimated $381,000, will be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Last night, an unmanned aircraft from Customs and Border Protection's Office of Air and Marine detected 26 suspected narcotics smugglers near the international boundary. Ajo Station's ATV unit responded to the area, along with additional CBP air assets, and located 24 bundles of marijuana and apprehended 26 individuals. The marijuana and smugglers were transported to the Ajo Station for processing. The marijuana weighing 1,200 pounds and worth an estimated $600,000, will be turned over to the DEA. The 26 adult male Mexican nationals now face possible federal charges.
CBP's Border Patrol, in conjunction with CBP's Air and Marine, frequently deploy combined resources to disrupt transnational criminal organizations operating in Arizona. Significant gains have been made toward combating illicit activity along the Arizona/Mexico border by targeting smuggling organizations in their preferred area of operations and ensuring that smugglers face stiff penalties for their actions.
CBP welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling (877) 872-7435 toll free.
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.