TUCSON, Ariz. – Customs and Border Protection officers arrested three Arizonans and one Mexican national for alleged attempts to smuggle more than 597 pounds of marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine through the Port of Nogales this week.
Officers at the Mariposa crossing referred Richard Lawrence Lewis, 36, of Wickenburg, Arizona, and his 44-year-old passenger, Shane McEntire of Yuma, for further inspection of Lewis’ recreational vehicle when they attempted to enter the U.S. on Jan. 19. After a CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs underneath the vehicle, officers removed nearly 540 pounds of marijuana worth close to $270,000.
On Jan. 20, officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing referred Carla Evelin Ochoa-Arce, 21, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, for further inspection of her Chrysler sedan. After a CBP canine alerted to one of the vehicle’s quarter panels, officers removed more than 24 pounds of meth worth nearly $13,000.
The following day, officers at the Mariposa crossing referred Cecelia Acosta, 41, a permanent resident alien living in Nogales, Arizona, for additional inspection of her Nissan sedan. A positive alert by a CBP canine led to the discovery of nearly 29 pounds of heroin, worth in excess of $404,000, and almost 5.5 pounds of meth valued at more than $16,000.
Officers seized the drugs and vehicles, and turned all three subjects over to 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.