TUCSON, Ariz. — Agents from the Office of Air and Marine and Border Patrol together located a stolen truck Tuesday, abandoned near the Sawtooth Mountains and loaded with nearly a ton of marijuana as part of the Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats multi-agency Silver Bell Initiative.
Casa Grande Border Patrol agents responding to sensor detections in the area discovered fresh tire tracks and requested air support from OAM’s Tucson Air Branch.
An A-Star helicopter crew responded and located the suspect vehicle, abandoned and covered with a tarp. The aircrew directed ground agents to the vehicle’s precise location.
When agents removed the tarp, they found the truck was loaded with almost 1,675 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $837,500. Agents seized the narcotics in accordance to Tucson Sector guidelines and turned the stolen vehicle over to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department.
“This is a good example of how the integration concept serves CBP well,” stated Tucson Air Branch Director Mitch Pribble. “Without this integrated approach, these kind of operations would be much more difficult.”
The Silver Bell Initiative is a multi-agency, ACTT initiative comprised of the Casa Grande and Tucson Border Patrol Stations, Homeland Security Investigations, Enforcement Removal Operations, Bureau of Land Management, the Pinal and Pima County Sheriffs’ Office, and the National Park Service.
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.