Lukeville, Ariz. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Lukeville port of entry in Arizona prevented more than 100 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of more than $86,000 from entering the country on Dec. 12.
At approximately 2:27 p.m. a CBP officer referred a 50-year-old man, a U.S. citizen from Phoenix, driving a blue 2002 Dodge Caravan for a secondary inspection after observing suspicious behavior. Once in the inspection area, a narcotics detector dog alerted to the rear area of the van. During a more thorough inspection a bundle was discovered concealed within a panel. A subsequent non-intrusive inspection revealed more packages concealed in the side quarter panel, seats and doors. A total of 90 packages of marijuana weighing 101.54 pounds with an estimated value of approximately $86,309 were removed from the vehicle.
"This seizure is a good example of how effective the right mix of manpower and technology can be," said Port Director Rick Gill. "The combination of experienced CBP officers, keen canines and modern technology has once again contributed to keeping our communities safe."
The vehicle and narcotics were seized by CBP and the subject was arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for prosecution.
A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Office of Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers' primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.
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.