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Nogales CBP Officers Seize Nearly $5.8 Million in Drugs

Release Date: 
February 18, 2015

TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Nogales, Arizona seized more than $5,796,000 worth of marijuana and heroin during five unrelated weekend incidents.

An officer’s canine assistant at the Nogales Commercial facility Feb. 13 alerted to a load of inbound mesquite charcoal. Upon opening one of the boxes for a visual inspection, the officer noticed a suspicious bundle inside. A subsequent, non-intrusive x-ray helped officers identify 480 bundles of marijuana, weighing more than 11,000 pounds and valued in excess of $5.6 million, co-mingled with the charcoal. Officers arrested the driver, Marcos Antonio Borquez-Espinoza, a 43-year-old Mexican national, and seized the tractor-trailer and narcotics.

Earlier in the day, officers conducting inbound operations at the Dennis DeConcini pedestrian crossing questioned Lino Banuelos-Galaviz, an 18-year-old Mexican national when he applied for admission into the U.S. A narcotics-detection canine alerted to the man’s feet where officers then found a package of heroin in each shoe. The drugs, weighing a combined 2.35 pounds, are worth approximately $33,113.

Later that evening, officers working at the Dennis DeConcini crossing referred Gricelda Loreto-Reyes, a 35-year-old Mexican national, for further questioning and inspection of her two suitcases. During the inspection, an officer and canine discovered seven packages containing more than 7 pounds of heroin worth about $104,200.

On Feb. 14, CBP officers encountered Saul Abraham Hernandez-Alcantar, a 25-year-old Mexican national, attempting to enter the U.S. in a 1999 Dodge pickup truck. Officers inspected the truck and discovered 42 packages of marijuana concealed in a non-factory compartment in the back wall and within the fuel tank. The marijuana, weighing more than 91 pounds, is worth $45,700.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017