Tucson, Ariz. - Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Tucson Field Office, a component of the Customs and Border Protection Joint Field Command - Arizona (JFC-AZ), arrested a 19-year-old Mexican male Monday after he attempted to enter the United States with 39 packages of marijuana concealed in the gas tank of his Pontiac sedan.
A narcotics detection canine alerted officers to the presence of drugs, more than 42 pounds with an estimated value of $21,000. The drugs and vehicle were processed for seizure and the subject was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
"Our CBP officers repeatedly demonstrate their ability to effectively detect and interdict narcotics regardless of the smuggling methods used by criminal organizations," said Area Port Director Michael Humphries. "Every interception is an example of CBP's commitment to keeping dangerous drugs from reaching our communities."
Individuals arrested are charged with a criminal complaint, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
CBP announced the JFC-AZ in February 2011 as an organizational realignment that brings together the U.S. Border Patrol, Air and Marine, and Field Operations under a unified command structure. The JFC-AZ integrates CBP's border security, commercial enforcement, and trade facilitation missions to more effectively meet the unique challenges faced in the Arizona area of operations.
CBP's Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked primarily with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation's ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.
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.