TUCSON, Ariz. – Customs and Border Protection officers arrested four Mexican nationals and two U.S. citizens connected to separate smuggling attempts of hard drugs during the past five days at the Port of Nogales.
Officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing referred Marjorie Quinones, 51, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, for a secondary inspection of her Jeep SUV on May 21. When a CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs, they found more than 21 pounds of methamphetamine, worth in excess of $64,000, and nearly four pounds of heroin worth more than $53,000.
On May 22, officers at the DeConcini crossing referred Gerardo Felipe Vazquez-Ramos,
56, and his passenger, Cesar Ernesto Canez-Felix, 57, both of Cajeme, Sonora, Mexico, for an inspection of a Ford SUV. After a CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to underneath the rear seats, officers removed 16 packages of cocaine weighing more than 42.5 pounds and valued at more than $444,000.
Earlier on the 22nd, officers at the Mariposa crossing referred Oscar Ledezma-Ortiz, 51, a legal permanent resident alien living in Glendale, Arizona, for further inspection of his Toyota sedan. After a canine alert to the presence of drugs within the vehicle, officers removed 10 packages of cocaine weighing more than 25 pounds and valued in excess of $264,500. They also found two packages containing nearly five pounds of heroin valued at more than $67,500.
A day later, officers at the DeConcini crossing referred Angelita Garibaldi, 50, of Tucson, for further inspection of her Oldsmobile van. A narcotics-detection canine alerted officers to nearly 22 pounds of cocaine valued at almost $227,000.
On May 24, officers at the DeConcini crossing referred Juan Carlos Lopez-Garcia, 22, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, for a further search of his Volkswagen. After a narcotics team detected drugs within the vehicle’s undercarriage, officers removed 11 packages of methamphetamine weighing more than 10 pounds, worth more than $31,000, and nine packages of heroin -- nearly 13 pounds – worth almost $180,000.
Officers processed all drugs and vehicles for seizure, and referred the subjects to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
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.