TUCSON, Ariz. –Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents arrested six suspected smugglers, seized four vehicles and 122lbs of marijuana, and rescued seven Mexican nationals from trunks at immigration checkpoints in Southern Arizona last week.
On Nov. 23, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents were conducting an immigration inspection at the State Route 90 checkpoint outside of Whetstone. Agents referred a suspicious driver to the secondary inspection lane, but the driver ignored the command and fled the checkpoint. After a brief chase, the vehicle crashed through a fence and the driver fled on foot. Agents apprehended and arrested the driver, determined that she was a U.S. citizen, and transported her to the Willcox Border Patrol Station for further processing. The vehicle contained 122 pounds of marijuana, and was seized along with the drugs. The marijuana had an estimated street value of $61,000.
Later last week, Border Patrol agents at the I-19 Checkpoint thwarted two smuggling attempts within a few hours. Agents assigned to the Nogales Station were conducting immigration inspections when they referred a vehicle to the secondary inspection lane. Agents were granted consent to search the trunk of the vehicle and encountered two individuals concealed inside. Later that day, a similar scenario played out which led to the discovery of two additional subjects concealed in the trunk of a sedan. All four individuals claimed to be nationals of Mexico and were given medical evaluations before being transported to the Nogales Border Patrol Station for further processing. Agents arrested the four U.S citizens associated with the smuggling attempts.
On Nov. 29, Border Patrol agents at the I-19 Checkpoint found three individuals hiding in the trunk of a car after gaining consent from the driver to search it. All three subjects, identified as Mexican nationals, were given medical evaluations and taken into custody. The driver, a U.S. citizen, was arrested and transported to the Nogales Border Patrol Station for further processing.
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.