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Nogales CBP Officers Seize $1.9 Million Worth of Marijuana Hidden in Produce

Release Date: 
May 9, 2012

Nogales, Ariz. - Two tractor-trailer loads of Mexican produce containing large stashes of marijuana, worth nearly $1.9 million combined, was stopped at the Mariposa Commercial Port Monday night by Office of Field Operations officers assigned to inbound operations.

In the first incident, officers referred a 38-year-old male Mexican national for a secondary inspection of his tractor-trailer load of bell peppers. A physical inspection of the shipment revealed 224 bundles of marijuana, weighing almost 1,700 pounds, co-mingled with the shipment.

That same day, CBP officers found 1,700 pounds of marijuana hidden in a load of bell peppers.

CBP officers at Nogales found more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana hidden in a load of Persian limes.

A short time later, officers referred a 27-year-old Mexican national for an additional inspection of his load of Persian limes. After the produce was offloaded, a Customs and Border Protection canine alerted to the presence of drugs. Officers then conducted a more thorough search and discovered 255 bundles of marijuana weighing more than 2,000 pounds total.

In both cases, the tractor-trailers, drugs and produce were processed for seizure. The drivers were arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.

Nogales Port Director Guadalupe Ramirez praised his officers for their diligence. "Our continued success is a direct reflection of the caliber of officers serving at our ports," he said. "Their dedication and commitment is unmatched."

Individuals arrested may be charged by complaint, the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

CBP's Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation's ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.

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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017