Nogales, Ariz. - Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Tucson Field Office, a component of the Customs and Border Protection Joint Field Command-Arizona, seized more than 340 pounds of marijuana and arrested an individual in connection with the smuggling attempt on Tuesday.
Officers working at the Mariposa Commercial Port referred an 18-year-old Mexican man for a secondary inspection of his Chevrolet truck which was towing a trailer. When a narcotics detection canine alerted to the trailer, officers located a pair of non-factory compartments within the wheel wells. They removed 48 packages of marijuana, which weighed a total of 344 pounds and have an estimated value of $172,000. The driver was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and the narcotics, truck and trailer were seized.
Individuals arrested are charged with a criminal complaint, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
CBP announced the JFC-AZ in February 2011 as an organizational realignment that brings together the U.S. Border Patrol, Air and Marine, and Field Operations under a unified command structure. The JFC-AZ integrates CBP's border security, commercial enforcement, and trade facilitation missions to more effectively meet the unique challenges faced in the Arizona area of operations.
CBP's Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked primarily 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 responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.