NOGALES, ARIZ.—A Tucson man and a Mesa woman were arrested Tuesday at the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry here in connection with separate failed attempts to smuggle marijuana.
Silvester Padilla Romero, 42, was arrested Tuesday afternoon after a U.S. Customs and Border Protection canine alerted officers to the presence of more than 545 pounds of marijuana in his Chevrolet truck. Officers located 110 packages and 11 loose bundles of marijuana inside the back panels and toolbox. The estimated value of the seizure was nearly $273,000.
Tasha Smith, 29, was arrested Tuesday night after a service canine alerted to the undercarriage of her Dodge SUV and officers located 16 packages of marijuana inside a spare tire. The drugs weighed almost 62 pounds and were valued at nearly $31,000.
Officers seized the vehicles and drugs. Romero and Smith will face state charges for drug smuggling.
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 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.