TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of Nogales arrested five U.S. citizens and two Mexican nationals during separate smuggling attempts this past week involving a combined 412 pounds of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine worth an estimated $919,000.
On Tuesday morning, officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing seized a combined 35 pounds of meth, heroin and cocaine, worth more than $201,000, during a secondary inspection of a Chevy truck driven by a 22-year-old Mexican man.
Later that morning, officers at the DeConcini pedestrian crossing referred a 17-year-old woman from Nogales, Arizona, for an additional inspection and found she was carrying more than a pound of heroin in her groin area. A few hours later, a 25-year-old woman from Rio Rico, Arizona, was caught with over a pound of heroin in her groin area. Later still, officers searched a 43-year-old Tucson woman and found she was carrying more than a pound of heroin in her purse. Combined, the three pedestrians were caught with more than $60,000 worth of heroin.
Tuesday morning, officers at the DeConcini crossing referred an 18-year-old Mexican man for a further search of his Saturn sedan. A narcotics-detection canine then alerted officers to the vehicle’s rocker panels where they discovered nearly 23 pounds of heroin, worth close to $400,000.
On Wednesday, officers at the DeConcini crossing referred a 23-year-old Rio Rico man for further search of his Pontiac sedan. Officers working with a CBP narcotics-detection canine located 13 pounds of cocaine, worth $148,000, hidden beneath the vehicle’s backseats.
On Thursday night, officers at the DeConcini crossing referred a 28-year-old Tucson woman for an additional search of her Ford SUV and found more than 37 pounds of meth, valued at $112,000, in the vehicle’s spare tire.
Officers seized all drugs and vehicles involved, and turned all the subjects over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
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.