Douglas, Ariz. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers stopped a smuggling attempt when they seized 178 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $106,800 on March 13.
A 38-year-old U.S. Citizen male from Phoenix, Ariz., attempted entry to the United States at the Douglas Port vehicle lane. A CBP officer observed nervous behavior and referred the vehicle for a secondary inspection. During a more intensive inspection, officers discovered tampering of the vehicle gas tank. Subsequently, a narcotics detector dog alerted positively to the vehicle resulting in the discovery of marijuana concealed in the gas tank and spare tire. A total of 45 bundles were removed from the gas tank and 29 bundles removed from the spare tire.
The narcotics weighed almost 178 pounds with an estimated street value of $106,800. The vehicle and narcotics were seized and the man was taken into custody and turned over to ICE-HSI for further investigation.
Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, unprecedented shifts in staffing and infrastructure at the ports of Arizona have brought a higher level of focus and intensity to their operations. These shifts have resulted in higher narcotics interceptions and tougher outbound enforcement operations yielding record illicit currency, weapons, and wanted felon interceptions.
A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers' primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.