Yuma, Ariz. - CBP U.S. Border Patrol agents from Yuma Sector arrested 12 suspected smugglers and seized more than 483 pounds of marijuana in two separate incidents yesterday.
In the early morning hours, Wellton Station agents patrolling southwest of Gila Bend detected a group traveling through the desert with large, rectangular backpacks. Agents caught up to the group and apprehended five subjects with a total of 315 pounds of marijuana worth nearly $158,000. The marijuana and suspects, all Mexican nationals, were turned over to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
Two hours later, agents patrolling in the same general area located a second group of individuals traveling through the desert. Seven individuals were apprehended carrying 168 pounds of marijuana. The marijuana, valued at $84,000, was seized per Yuma Sector guidelines and the subjects were processed for removal.
CBP's Border Patrol has made significant progress in combating transnational criminal organizations by impacting their ability to transport contraband deeper into the United States; ensuring smugglers face stiff federal penalties for their actions. In Arizona, the probability of being detected and facing consequences is higher than ever before.
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.