NOGALES, ARIZ.—Two subjects were arrested this weekend at the Port of Nogales for attempting to smuggle nearly 162 pounds of drugs into the United States.
Friday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers referred Nogales resident Javier Ruiz, 18, for an additional inspection of his Dodge truck at the Mariposa Port of Entry. After a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs inside the vehicle’s gas tank, officers removed 66 packages of marijuana worth close to $54,000.
Sunday, officers at the Mariposa Port of Entry referred Fabian Salazar Gastelum, 23, of neighboring Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, for additional inspection of his Chevrolet sedan. After a CBP canine alerted to the presence of drugs within the rear quarter panels and rear fender wells, officers located a combination of hard drugs: 13 packages of cocaine weighing nearly 34 pounds and valued at nearly $307,000; 12 packages of heroin weighing more than 15 pounds and valued in excess of $208,000; and five packages of methamphetamine -- nearly six pounds -- worth an estimated $89,000.
The drugs and vehicle were processed for seizure. Ruiz and Salazar were turned 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.