TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested a female Mexican national and a male Mexican national on Wednesday for allegedly attempting to smuggle more than $377,000-worth of heroin and methamphetamine through the Port of Nogales.
Officers at the Mariposa crossing arrested Martha Fabiana Corrales-Gonzalez, 27, of Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico, after a CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to the Toyota SUV she was driving. During a secondary inspection, officers discovered 16 packages of narcotics within the rear driver side quarter panel. The heroin weighed more than 20.5 pounds with an estimated value of nearly $289,000, while the meth weighed more than two pounds with an estimated value of more than $7,200.
A short time later, officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing arrested Roberto Patino-Perez, 31, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, after a drug detection canine alerted to his Isuzu SUV. A further search of the vehicle led to an ice chest that was hollowed out to conceal the drug packages. The walls of the cooler contained nearly five pounds of heroin, worth an estimated $68,000, and more than four pounds of meth with an estimated value of more than $12,000.
Officers seized the drugs and vehicles, and referred Corrales and Patino 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.