Nogales, Ariz. - On June 1, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers working at the Mariposa commercial facility in Nogales intercepted a large amount of marijuana in a commercial shipment containing watermelons.
The seizure occurred when a 27-year-old Mexican male truck driver attempted to enter the U.S. through a Mariposa commercial facility vehicle lane and was referred for a secondary inspection. Further inspection of the shipment led to the discovery of 128 packages of marijuana comingled inside the bins of watermelon. The narcotics weighed approximately 2,956 pounds with an estimated value of nearly $1.5 million dollars.
The marijuana, truck and trailer were seized by CBP. The subject was taken into custody and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.
Acting Nogales Area Port Director Craig Hope said this seizure adds to a list of large narcotics seizures at the ports in Nogales.
"Since the beginning of the fiscal year, Mariposa CBP officers have intercepted 13 attempts to smuggle large amounts marijuana mixed in commercial shipments into United States," he said. "They have prevented more than 47,550 pounds of the dangerous narcotics worth an estimated at $24 million, from entering our communities."
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.