Nogales, Ariz. - Nearly 5,700 pounds of marijuana, worth more than $2.8 million, was seized Wednesday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Mariposa Port. The seizure represents the fifth largest in Nogales since 1990.
Port officers referred Erik Arredondo Garfel, 41, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, for additional inspection of the tractor-trailer he was driving when he attempted to enter the United States. Officers became suspicious during inspection of the electronic components being shipped and brought in a narcotics-detection canine to sniff for concealed contraband. After the dog alerted to the presence of drugs, officers located and removed 240 bundles of marijuana.
The tractor-trailer and all content were processed for seizure. Arredondo was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
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.
The Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Customs and Border Protection 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 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.