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Smugglers Strategy: Abandon Dope

Release Date: 
January 25, 2012

TUCSON, ARIZ.—Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents seized more than 3,300 pounds of abandoned marijuana during three separate incidents in the west desert Tuesday.

Ajo Station agents using a mobile surveillance system detected a group of possible narcotics smugglers west of Lukeville Tuesday afternoon. Agents responded to the location and found nine bundles of marijuana in a large wash. The marijuana, with a total weight of 888 pounds and valued at $444,000, was transported to Ajo Station for processing.

In a separate incident, and with the assistance of a mobile surveillance system, agents located 15 abandoned bundles of marijuana in the west desert. The marijuana, weighing 794 pounds and valued at $397,000, was transported to the Ajo Station for processing.

Later that evening, agents from Ajo's Horse Patrol Unit discovered an abandoned vehicle in the desert loaded with approximately 1,618 pounds of marijuana valued at $809,000. The vehicle and marijuana were transported to Ajo Station for processing.

The proper mix of advanced technology and specialty units such as the Horse Patrol allow Border Patrol agents to better detect contraband entering the United States and respond quickly in remote and rugged terrain. As a result, smuggling organizations often abandon their drug loads rather than risk apprehension and prosecution.

Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling (877) 872-7435 toll free.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017