TUCSON, Ariz. – Customs and Border Protection officers at Arizona’s Port of Lukeville arrested two U.S. citizens during separate weekend attempts to smuggle approximately $145,000 worth of methamphetamine and marijuana across the international border.
Officers conducting cursory inspection of inbound vehicles Saturday afternoon referred a male 18-year-old Phoenix resident for an additional inspection of a 2002 Chrysler sedan he was driving. A subsequent search by a CBP canine, turned up packages of meth concealed between the vehicle’s rear seat and trunk. The drugs had a combined weight of approximately 14 pounds, worth in excess of $40,600.
Monday afternoon, CBP officers were screening inbound vehicles when their assigned canine alerted to a 2003 Ford truck belonging to a 64-year-old man from Clarkdale, Arizona. During a subsequent search of the vehicle, officers found more than 200 pounds of marijuana in the back seat area.
Officers arrested both suspects for narcotics smuggling and turned them over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. Officers also seized the drugs and vehicles.
Federal law allows officers to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring 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.