TUCSON, ARIZ.—Three smuggling attempts were thwarted Tuesday by Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents manning checkpoints in southern Arizona.
The first smuggling attempt was stopped at the I-19 checkpoint north of Tubac after a Border Patrol canine alerted to possible contraband in a 2013 Cadillac XTS. During the ensuing search of the vehicle, three Chinese nationals were found hidden in the trunk. The driver, a U.S. citizen, was placed under arrest and charged with alien smuggling. The illegal immigrants were processed for removal.
Later at the same checkpoint, a canine alert on a 2000 Ford Taurus resulted in the discovery of a tiny amount of marijuana. However, after searching the driver and passenger, agents found more than six pounds of meth strapped to their bodies. The two female U.S. citizens were arrested and charged with drug smuggling. The narcotics, worth $65,000, were seized and turned over to the DEA.
The final smuggling attempt came early in the evening at the Border Patrol checkpoint on State Route 90, north of Whetstone, Ariz. Five bundles of marijuana, worth $59,000, were found in duffle bags in the trunk of a 2002 Ford Focus after a Border Patrol canine alerted to the vehicle. The driver, also a U.S. citizen, was arrested and charged with drug smuggling.
Smugglers attempt multiple techniques to achieve their goals. Checkpoints are a vital component of Border Patrol operations which contributes to the safety of surrounding communities.
Customs and Border Protection 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.