TUCSON, Ariz. – Customs and Border Protection officers arrested two U.S. citizens and four Mexican nationals during weekend smuggling attempts at the Port of Nogales, resulting in the seizure of nearly 145 pounds of drugs worth more than $155,000. A separate smuggling attempt involved the seizure of more than $145,000 in cash.
Officers first referred a 21-year-old male U.S. citizen and his two passengers – an 18-year-old female U.S. citizen and a 21-year-old male Mexican national male – for further inspection when they attempted to pass through the Dennis DeConcini crossing on June 17. During the inspection, officers found more than 10 pounds of meth, worth in excess of $31,000, hidden beneath the shifter.
A short time later, officers at the DeConcini crossing referred a 49-year-old Mexican woman for a secondary inspection of her Ford SUV. After a CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to the rear of the vehicle, officers located almost 24 pounds of meth valued at nearly $72,000.
That night officers referred a Mexican couple, 36-year-old man and his 28-year-old female passenger for further inspection of his Dodge truck at the Nogales West Mariposa crossing. After a CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to truck’s roof and seats, officers removed close to 107 pounds of marijuana worth almost $54,000.
The following day (June 18), officers conducting routine outbound inspections referred a 46-year-old Mexican man for an inspection of his Chevrolet SUV at the DeConcini crossing. Officers found more than $145,000 in unreported U.S. currency in the vehicle’s rear quarter panels.
Officers seized the vehicles, currency and drugs, and turned the subjects over 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.