Rainy Weather Brings Huge Smuggling Attempts in Arizona
Tucson, ARIZ.—Smugglers attempted to use southern Arizona’s rainy weather to their advantage in three separate weekend incidents.
The first occurred Saturday morning near Why, Ariz., when a Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent conducting surveillance in a remote area observed approximately 20 individuals carrying bundles of marijuana on their backs. Agents, along with a canine partner, were able to locate 32 bundles of marijuana weighing 1,556 pounds. All of the subjects absconded.
Just after noon on Saturday, when agents stopped a Ford pickup truck on a remote dirt road near Whetstone, Ariz., the driver attempted to outrun agents on foot. Inside the truck were 40 bundles of marijuana weighing 812 pounds. The driver was arrested and charged for smuggling narcotics. The truck and marijuana were seized.
At approximately 7:30 p.m. Sunday evening, agents responded to possible smuggling activity near St. David, Ariz., and observed a Dodge truck traveling on a dirt road with its headlights off. The truck was located a short time later, abandoned in a wash, with 1,851 pounds of marijuana inside. After an extensive search, agents were unable to locate the driver. The truck had been equipped with a siren and red and blue emergency style lights in the grille. Agents also found a set of binoculars and night vision goggles in the truck’s cab. The truck and all contents were seized.
In total, agents seized a combined $2.1 million in marijuana.
Narcotics traffickers use any means to move their products, including strapping the drugs to their backs, cloning vehicles, and even trying to use the weather to their advantage.
The Tucson Sector Border Patrol strives to secure America’s borders through the disruption and degrading of transnational criminal activity. Border security is a joint effort between various components of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, other law enforcement partners, and support from community stakeholders.
CBP welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol by calling (877) 872-7435 toll free. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous.