TUCSON, Ariz. – Customs and Border Protection officers arrested three women during two separate attempts to smuggle cocaine and methamphetamine through the Port of Nogales on March 9.
Officers at the Mariposa crossing selected a Volkswagen, driven by Claudia Yajaira Gonzalez-Romero, 26, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, for further inspection. A CBP narcotics-detection canine then alerted to the presence of drugs, leading officers to find more than 8.5 pounds of cocaine, worth nearly $90,000, in the car’s dashboard.
Later that day, officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing referred Cynthia Bates, 50, and her passenger, Vanessa C. Martinez, 29, both of Phoenix, Ariz. for further inspection of the Chevrolet SUV. After a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted to the rear quarter panels, officers removed nine packages of meth. The drugs weighed nearly nine pounds and are valued at approximately $27,000.
Officers processed the vehicles and all drugs for seizure, and referred the three subjects to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
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.