YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents seized 5,000 tablets of fentanyl and arrested two after a failed attempt to smuggle the narcotics in their vehicle Wednesday.
At approximately 11:50 p.m., Blythe Station Integrated Targeting Team agents performed a vehicle stop on a 2009 silver Nissan Altima traveling on the Interstate 10 near Quartzsite. Agents searched the vehicle and discovered 5,000 tablets of fentanyl disguised as oxycodone with a street value worth more than $538,000.00.
The 35-year-old male Mexican national and female 31-year-old United States citizen, both residing in Los Angeles, California, were arrested and will be charged with the smuggling of narcotics. The fentanyl and vehicle were seized.
“The opioid crisis continues to be a national public health emergency”, said Blythe Station Patrol Agent in Charge Daniel Parra. “Today’s seizure represents the contribution and commitment by the United States Border Patrol, specifically the Blythe Border Patrol Station, to combat this threat by disrupting the illicit fentanyl supply chain.”
According to information posted on DEA.gov, fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid 30-50 times more potent than heroin and 50-100 times more potent than morphine. A very small amount of fentanyl, as little as two milligrams, may be lethal for most people.
The Yuma Sector Integrated Targeting Teams are responsible for intelligence analysis, intelligence gathering and data dissemination. Yuma Sector has three ITT teams, which are credited with finding and locating numerous high-value Transnational Criminal Organization targets and stash houses. The Yuma Sector ITT teams are a part of the Sector Intelligence Unit.
Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of criminal activity charges without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless or until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents effectively combat smuggling organizations attempting to illegally transport people and contraband through southwestern Arizona and California. Citizens can help the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling 1-866-999-8727 toll-free to report suspicious activity. Callers can remain anonymous.