Nogales, Ariz. - Inspections of inbound vehicles and pedestrians by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of Nogales, Ariz., resulted in the seizure of large amounts of narcotics this past weekend.
From Friday, Nov. 19, through Sunday, Nov. 21, officers processed approximately 75,000 travelers. Through the course of the weekend officers seized more than 236 pounds of marijuana, more than two pounds of methamphetamine and nearly 160 pounds of cocaine. The street value of the narcotics seized is estimated at $2 million.
The contraband was hidden in various compartments of vehicles. Narcotics were also found strapped to a traveler's body.
The weekend seizures began on Friday, Nov. 19, at approximately 7:50 a.m., when a 34-year-old man from Nogales, Sonora, was referred to secondary for further inspection at the Dennis DeConcini pedestrian entry. The inspection resulted in the discovery of more than two pounds of methamphetamine strapped to the man's legs.
Later that same day at the primary vehicle lanes at the Mariposa POE, CBP officers encountered a 23-year-old man from Nogales, Sonora, driving a 1998 Dodge Durango. The man and vehicle were referred to secondary area for further inspection. A search of the vehicle's gas tank resulted in a seizure of 28 packages of marijuana totaling more than 81 pounds.
Friday, Nov. 19 activity ended with the seizure of more than 21 pounds of cocaine concealed in a 2002 Dodge Intrepid driven by a 20-year-old man from Rio Rico, Arizona.
On Saturday, Nov. 20, at approximately 11 a.m., CBP officers referred for inspection a Ford Fiesta with two male occupants from Hermosillo Sonora, Mexico. The vehicle was found to contain 24 packages of marijuana totaling more than 85 pounds.
On Sunday, Nov. 21, at approximately 10:30 a.m., CBP officer working DeConcini encountered a 45-year-old male from Guamuchil, Sinaloa, Mexico driving a 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser. The vehicle inspection resulted in the discovery of 57 packages of cocaine totaling more than 138 pounds.
Later that Sunday at approximately 1:20 p.m., a man and woman from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, aboard a 1999 Ford F-150 were encountered at the DeConcini Port of Entry. The vehicle and the two travelers were referred to secondary for further inspection. A search of the pickup truck resulted in the discovery of seven packages of marijuana totaling more than 69 pounds.
In all seizures, the narcotics and vehicles were seized and suspects were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.
Nogales Port Director Guadalupe Ramirez commended his officers by saying "Our enforcement efforts this weekend are a direct result of the hard work, dedication and commitment of our employees."
U. S. Customs and Border Protection is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. Our 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.