Tucson, Ariz. - In four separate incidents over the weekend, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents seized approximately 6,590 pounds of marijuana, worth more than $3.2 million.
Friday, the Naco Station received a tip about a suspicious vehicle in Hereford. When agents searched the area, they found an abandoned GMC Yukon with bundles of marijuana stacked in the back of the vehicle. Seventy-six bundles of marijuana, weighing 1,700 pounds with an estimated value of $850,000, were seized. The vehicle, which had been stolen out of New Mexico, was turned over to the Cochise County Sheriff's Office.
On Saturday, Ajo agents received a tip about a suspicious vehicle in the West Desert. Agents and a CBP Office of Air and Marine helicopter responded and located an abandoned Dodge pickup truck concealed under a tarp. Agents discovered 85 bundles of marijuana weighing 1,820 pounds with an estimated value of $910,000 concealed in the vehicle. The narcotics and vehicle, which was reported stolen out of Phoenix, were turned over to the Tohono O'odham Police Department. (Photos available)
Early on Sunday morning, Ajo agents using a Mobile Surveillance System observed several suspected narcotics smugglers walking in the West Desert. Agents responded to the area and discovered 1,220 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of $610,000. All suspects fled the area prior to the arrival of the agents. The marijuana was seized and will be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. (Photos available)
Sunday night, agents working in the West Desert observed a suspicious vehicle driving off-road through the desert. A short time later, agents found the vehicle abandoned in a wash. Agents discovered 77 bundles of marijuana in the vehicle and four additional bundles nearby. The combined weight for all 81 bundles was 1,850 pounds with an estimated value of almost $925,000. The marijuana and vehicle, which was reported stolen out of Phoenix, were turned over to the Tohono O'odham Police Department.
Smuggling contraband, including drugs and humans, is a federal crime for which violators will pay legal consequences. Smugglers frequently choose to abandon their loads rather than risk apprehension and the associated penalties.
Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, the Department of Homeland Security has made significant investments toward establishing a secure and safe border environment to improve the quality of life throughout Arizona communities.
Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol by calling (877) 872-7435 toll free. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous.
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.