TUCSON, ARIZ.—Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents seized more than 3,775 pounds of marijuana, worth more than $1.8 million, in three separate events over the holiday weekend.
Saturday morning, Casa Grande agents using infrared detection technology observed a group of suspected smugglers in the west desert just north of the international border. Agents responded and discovered 11 backpacks buried in a wash. The backpacks contained a combined 594 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $297,000. A search of the area revealed the group had fled into Mexico. The contraband was transported to the Casa Grande Station for processing.
Later that evening, agents from Casa Grande's satellite station detected a group of suspected narcotics smugglers in the west desert while using infrared detection technology. Agents responded and apprehended five suspected smugglers and seized 24 burlap bundles of marijuana weighing 1,289 pounds. The subjects and marijuana, valued at $644,500, were transported to the Casa Grande Station. The subjects are being presented for prosecution on federal drug charges.
Monday night, Ajo Station agents observed a vehicle driving off-road in the desert and requested assistance from a Customs and Border Protection helicopter crew. Agents found the vehicle abandoned with 73 bundles of marijuana inside. The marijuana, weighing 1,892 pounds and valued at $946,000, and the vehicle were transported to the Ajo Station for processing.
Detection technology improves situational awareness for Border Patrol agents, allowing them to quickly locate and respond to criminal activity in remote regions of the border. Investments in proven technology have assisted the Border Patrol in making great strides toward establishing a secure and safe border environment.
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.