Tucson, Ariz. - U.S. Border Patrol agents seized more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana early this morning from a stolen vehicle found in the West Desert.
Agents patrolling near Federal Route 20 noticed suspicious activity in the nearby desert. Agents approached the area to further investigate and discovered an abandoned sport utility vehicle (SUV) stuck in a ditch. Upon closer inspection, they discovered 68 bundles of marijuana, with an estimated value of $1.25 million, loaded in the vehicle. No subjects were encountered.
After securing the area, agents conducted a records check on the vehicle and discovered it had been reported stolen in Phoenix. They also discovered that the vehicle's license plate had been switched in an attempt to fool law enforcement officers.
While drug smugglers continue their attempts to bring illegal loads into the United States, the Border Patrol remains vigilant. Through improvements in infrastructure, manpower and technology, the Border Patrol is making it more and more difficult for criminals to pursue their illicit endeavourers.
This latest seizure is part of a recent trend of success for the U.S. Border Patrol. During the same time frame last year, the Tucson Sector Border Patrol had seized 341,000 pounds of marijuana. In the first four months of this fiscal year (October through January), agents have already seized more than 350,000 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value exceeding $287 million.
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.