NOGALES, ARIZ.—Two women were arrested Tuesday at the Port of Nogales in connection with separate failed attempts to smuggle narcotics.
Vanessa Elizabeth Palacios-Cortez, 34, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, was arrested after a CBP narcotic detection canine alerted to 14 packages of methamphetamine inside the front seats of her Buick sedan. The narcotics weighed nearly 24 pounds with an estimated value of nearly $365,000. The subject's vehicle was processed for seizure.
Dora Anna Gutierrez, 39, of Phoenix, was arrested at the Morley pedestrian gate after a CBP service canine alerted to the presence of drugs concealed on her body. The drugs consisted of nearly three pounds of cocaine with an estimated value of just over $24,000.
In both incidents the drugs were seized. Palacios and Gutierrez were referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
CBP's Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked 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 duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.
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.