TUCSON, Ariz. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Mariposa Commercial Facility seized more than $8.5 million in marijuana – approximately 17,060 pounds – from a Mexican national Feb. 12 when he attempted to enter the United States through the Port of Nogales.
Officers discovered the drugs within six palletized boxes identified as aircraft parts in a tractor-trailer driven by Gerardo Cruz, 23, of Colonia La Mesa, Sonora, Mexico, following an alert by a CBP narcotics-detection canine.
Officers seized the entire shipment and referred Cruz to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Nogales Port Director Guadalupe Ramirez praised the efforts that resulted from this seizure. “Near record seizures such as this are the result of a combined effort by our officers, canine, and technology.” Ramirez concluded, “This seizure represents the second largest marijuana interception in Arizona’s port history; the most significant marijuana seizure was more than 20k pounds in November of 2013.”
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.