US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep CBP.gov current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Lukeville CBP Officers Seize 18 Packages of Pot

Release Date: 
October 10, 2012

Lukeville, Ariz. - Two men were arrested in separate incidents during the Columbus Day weekend for allegedly attempting to smuggle more than $26,000 worth of marijuana hidden in coolers of fish into the United States through the Lukeville Port.

Marijuana hidden inside ice chest.

CBP officers in Lukeville, Ariz. seize more than 25 pounds of marijuana from inside of this ice chest on Monday evening.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers referred Dolores Flores Esquer, 43, for a secondary inspection of his 2005 Mazda Friday morning. During the secondary inspection, officers X-rayed the vehicle and cooler and found nine packages of marijuana weighing almost 26 pounds in the cooler. Flores, along with the marijuana worth an estimated $13,000, and vehicle were turned over to the Pima County Sheriff's Office.

Monday evening, officers referred Cha Hee Park, 46, for a secondary inspection of his 2009 Toyota Camry when he applied for admission into the United States. At secondary inspection, officers found two coolers in the vehicle's trunk; one appeared to contain crabs and the other clams. The vehicle and coolers were then X-rayed, revealing abnormalities in the cooler containing clams. A closer inspection produced nine packages of marijuana hidden in the walls of the cooler. The marijuana weighed a little more than 25 pounds, approximately $13,266 worth. Park was arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.

Marijuana bundles hidden within the ice chest walls.

Ice chest after opened by CBP officers in Lukeville, Ariz. shows how smugglers attempted to hide marijuana on Monday evening.

Individuals arrested may be charged by complaint, the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Customs and Border Protection tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation's ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.

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.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017