TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested seven people for their separate alleged attempts to smuggle a combined 1,936 pounds of marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine through the Port of Nogales earlier this week.
Officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing referred a 28-year-old Nogales woman for further inspection of her Pontiac sedan on Dec. 15. The search led officers to the discovery more than 22.5 pounds of meth, worth almost $68,000, within the vehicle’s rocker panels.
On Dec. 16, officers at the Mariposa Commercial Facility referred a 30-year-old man from Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, for further inspection of the tractor-trailer he was driving. After a CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs co-mingled within a shipment of cucumbers, officers found more than 200 bundles of marijuana weighing nearly 1,719 pounds and valued at more than $859,000.
Later in the day, officers at the Mariposa crossing referred a 32-year-old legal permanent resident alien woman and her 34-year-old husband for a secondary inspection of their Ford SUV. After a CBP canine alerted to the presence of drugs, officers located 103 pounds of marijuana throughout the interior and exterior of the vehicle. The drugs are worth an estimated $51,700.
Officers also referred a 29-year-old Rio Rico woman for an additional search of her Nissan sedan. When a drug-detection canine alerted to the vehicle’s back doors and quarter panels, officers located nearly 37 pounds of meth worth just under $110,000.
On Dec. 17, DeConcini officers investigating a canine team alert to the dashboard area of a Ford sedan driven by a 33-year-old Mexican national from Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico, found almost 11 pounds of meth worth more than $32,000.
A short time later, a canine team conducting post-primary inspections resulted in the referral of a 31-year-old Phoenix woman for a further search of her Chrysler sedan. Officers then discovered nearly 44 pounds of heroin, valued at nearly $617,000, hidden within the rocker panels.
CBP officers seized all drugs and vehicles, and turned the subjects over 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.