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Joint Operation Nabs Smugglers, Weapons, Drugs

Release Date: 
July 22, 2011

Tucson, Ariz. - An illegal immigrant working for a drug-trafficking organization was apprehended Wednesday in the West Desert. While being interviewed by Ajo Station Border Patrol agents, the subject provided information leading to yesterday's arrest of fellow drug smugglers, as well as the location of a stash-house.

Border Patrol agents and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducted surveillance of the designated location. When they observed a vehicle leave the house, agents followed the vehicle. Eventually, the driver of the vehicle pulled into a gas station and walked inside. Agents walked by the vehicle and saw bundles of marijuana in plain view. Agents apprehended the driver and seized the vehicle containing about 330 pounds of marijuana.

Based on intelligence gathered from the driver of the vehicle, agents executed search warrants for the house - still under surveillance. HSI agents and detectives from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office apprehended one subject at the residence and seized 20 additional bundles of marijuana weighing 440 pounds. They also retrieved a shotgun, a revolver, roughly 200 rounds of ammunition, scales, ledgers, U.S. currency and cellular phones.

ICE HSI took custody of the two subjects, now being held on various federal charges.

As Arizona law enforcement efforts continue to disrupt transnational criminal activities, Customs and Border Protection and other federal, state, local and tribal agencies are committed to keeping communities safe. Partnerships between law enforcement agencies serve as a formidable force against smugglers and other criminals.

Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, the Department of Homeland Security has made significant investments toward establishing a secure and safe border environment to improve the quality of life throughout Arizona communities.

Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Report suspicious activity by calling the Border Patrol toll free 1 (877) 872-7435. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017