TUCSON, ARIZ.—During five incidents over the holiday weekend, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents seized approximately 2,900 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $1.4 million.
A detection canine team working at the Border Patrol Interstate 19 checkpoint Saturday, alerted to the trunk of a vehicle during primary inspection. After the driver consented to a search of the trunk, agents found approximately 116 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $58,000. The pot and vehicle were seized. The driver faces possible federal charges.
Ajo Station agents received information Saturday evening about a suspicious vehicle in the west desert. An air crew from Customs and Border Protection's Office of Air and Marine, along with Border Patrol agents, located an abandoned vehicle loaded with 1,312 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $656,000. The vehicle was seized and the narcotics will be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Also on Saturday evening, Sonoita Station agents stopped a vehicle on State Route 82 found to be transporting 311 pounds of marijuana. The driver was taken into custody and may face federal charges. The vehicle and narcotics, worth approximately $155,500, were taken to the Ajo Station for processing.
Ajo agents responding to detection technology in the west desert yesterday located and seized 12 abandoned backpacks containing 562 pounds of marijuana valued at an estimated $281,000. The narcotics will be turned over to the DEA.
In another incident yesterday, an Ajo Border Patrol canine team following vehicle tracks in the west desert located an abandoned vehicle containing approximately 600 pounds of marijuana worth about $300,000. The vehicle and marijuana were taken to the Ajo Station for processing.
Transnational criminal organizations use a variety of methods in their attempts to conduct illegal activity. With the adequate deployment of proven technology, infrastructure and manpower, the Tucson Sector Border Patrol is significantly disrupting their efforts. Smuggling organizations often prefer to abandon their dope loads rather than risk being apprehended and prosecuted.
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.