Tucson, Ariz. - During three separate incidents over the weekend, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Tucson Sector's Ajo and Sonoita Stations seized a total of more than 3,500 pounds of marijuana. The estimated value of the contraband is in excess of $2.8 million.
Ajo Border Patrol agents patrolling the West Desert Friday detected footprints indicating a group of individuals had illegally entered the United States. After tracking the footprints, agents observed a group of individuals fleeing the area. Agents were able to apprehend two illegal aliens and seized 24 bundles of marijuana. The marijuana, weighing 1,157 pounds and having an estimated value of $925,600, and the illegal aliens were transported to the Ajo Station for processing.
Later Friday, agents assigned to the Ajo Station's All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Unit encountered 34 bundles of abandoned marijuana in the West Desert. The marijuana was transported to the Ajo Station for processing. The weight of the marijuana was 1,556 pounds and the estimated value was greater than $1.2 million.
On Sunday, Sonoita agents discovered an abandoned truck in Patagonia that had bundles of suspected contraband lying in the truck's passenger cabin. A total of 809 pounds of marijuana were discovered in the cabin and in the bed of the truck. Subsequent record checks also revealed that the truck had been reported stolen. The marijuana was transported to the Sonoita Station for processing and the stolen vehicle was turned over to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The value of the marijuana was approximately $647,000.
"Each interdiction of illegal drugs puts additional pressure on drug trafficking organizations," said Division Chief Manuel Padilla. "Our agents maintain their vigilance and strive to continue disrupting the smugglers' ability to operate and transport contraband within the Tucson Sector."
Members of the public remain a valuable source of information regarding illegal activity. Should you see suspicious activity, please report it to our toll free number at 1-877-872-7435. All calls will be answered and will remain anonymous.
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.