NOGALES, ARIZ.—A 29-year-old Mexican national from Nogales, Sonora, traveling with his 26-year-old wife and three minor children, was arrested yesterday for attempting to smuggle more than $800,000 worth of cocaine and methamphetamines into the United States through the Dennis DeConcini Port.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers from Tucson's Office of Field Operations referred the driver for a secondary inspection of the family's 1998 Chrysler. After a CBP drug detection canine alerted to the vehicle's rear quarter panels, officers found nearly 77 pounds of cocaine worth more than $696,000, and slightly more than seven pounds of crystal methamphetamine valued at almost $112,000.
Officers seized the drugs and vehicle. The driver was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations. His wife was processed for withdrawal of application for admission to the United States. The minor children were released to the custody of their grandmother.
Individuals arrested may be charged by complaint, the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
CBP's Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation's ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.
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.