TUCSON, Ariz. – Customs and Border Protection officers arrested five Mexican nationals and a Phoenix woman allegedly involved in separate smuggling attempts since Wednesday at the Port of Nogales, resulting in the seizure of nearly 203 pounds of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.
Officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing referred Julio Cesar Castro-Portillo, 38, of Caborca, Sonora, Mexico, for a secondary inspection of his Dodge truck Friday (June 26). A CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs within the vehicle’s dash and firewall where officers found nearly 19 pounds of heroin worth more than $267,000. The seizure also included nearly 13 pounds of cocaine worth almost $134,000, and more than 25 pounds of methamphetamine worth close to $76,000.
Thursday morning, officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing referred Maria Del Rosio, 18, of Phoenix, for an inspection of her Chevrolet truck. A CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to the gas tank where officers found multiple packages of heroin weighing nearly 25 pounds and worth almost $350,000.
A short time later, officers at the DeConcini crossing referred Jose Rafael Torres-Torres, 23, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, for further inspection of his Ford SUV. A narcotics canine alerted to the rear air-conditioning unit where officers found more than 17 pounds of heroin, worth nearly $244,000; over seven pounds of meth, worth nearly $22,000; and almost three pounds of cocaine worth approximately $29,000.
Later still, officers at the Mariposa crossing referred Judas Tadeo Chavez-Valenzuela, 29, and his wife Aleyda Perez Perez-Camacho, 25, both of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, for further inspection of their Nissan sedan. Officers then discovered nearly 73 pounds of meth worth more than $218,000 and nearly five pounds of heroin worth almost $66,000.
Wednesday, a CBP canine alerted to a Ford sedan, driven by Jose Rene Vasquez-Cervantes, as he attempted to enter the U.S. through the Mariposa crossing. Officers found more than 16 pounds of meth, worth nearly $49,000, in a spare tire.
CBP officers seized all drugs and vehicles involved, and turned over all suspects 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.