TUCSON, Ariz. — Agents from the Office of Air and Marine and the Office of Border Patrol together conducted two seizures in the Ajo area Feb. 19, netting more than 1,600 pounds of marijuana, two vehicles, and two suspects arrested.
In the first seizure, Border Patrol agents received a tip from the public about a suspect vehicle, described as a brown Ford Explorer, transporting narcotics. When agents encountered the vehicle on FR-7, the vehicle sped away with agents in pursuit.
An OAM aircrew working in the area responded to assist.
The vehicle first fled onto Highway 86 but ran off the road, at which time two occupants fled on foot in different directions. By this time, a second aircraft had joined the pursuit and each followed one of the suspects.
Ultimately, OAM agents successfully guided ground agents to each suspect’s hiding location. After securing the suspects, agents searched the vehicle and found 30 wrapped bundles of marijuana weighing a combined 721 pounds.
In a second incident, Border Patrol agents again received information from the public regarding a suspicious vehicle near GuVo. When agents arrived, they found fresh tire tracks heading west. An OAM aircrew also responded to assist ground agents tracking the vehicle.
Searchers soon found an abandoned vehicle hidden in brush. While OAM agents provided cover, ground agents searched the vehicle and found 40 bundles marijuana weighing a combined 888 pounds.
Agents seized all narcotics and vehicles.
“This is a good example of how our integration concept serves CBP and, more importantly, the public,” said Tucson Air Branch Director Mitch Pribble. “Working together, agents from several CBP components did a great job today.”
The seized narcotics have an estimated value of $810,080.
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.