Nogales CBP Officers Have Busy Week
NOGALES, ARIZ.—During the week of March 11, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Nogales ports of entry seized more than four tons of narcotics in two days, valued at more than $4.4 million.
On March 13, the Mexican driver of a tractor-trailer was arrested at the Nogales Commercial Facility when he attempted to enter the United States with more than three tons of marijuana in containers labeled as vacuum pumps and lamp holders.
CBP officers referred the 33-year-old driver for a secondary inspection and using a commercial x-ray system of his tractor-trailer, detected an anomaly. A CBP narcotics detection canine was brought in and alerted to the presence of drugs. Officers found 6,219 pounds of marijuana worth more than $3.1 million.
On March 12, a tractor-trailer driver was arrested after CBP officers found more than a ton of marijuana, worth slightly more than $1,068,000, co-mingled within a shipment of bell peppers.
In an unrelated incident on March 13, officers at the Mariposa Port arrested Gilberto Vasquez Govea, 31, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, for attempting to smuggle nearly 17 pounds of methamphetamine, worth an estimated $263,252. CBP officers found the drugs under the rear seat of his Chevrolet SUV.
In all three incidents, the drugs and vehicles were seized. The subjects were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations.
"These significant seizures send a message to criminal organizations that CBP will never waver in its commitment to prevent their dangerous commodity from being introduced into our communities," said Nogales Area Port Director Guadalupe Ramirez. "I applaud the tenacity and efforts of our officers. These are just examples of their dedication to keeping our country safe."
The CBP Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at the nation's ports of entry. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. This mission also includes narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.