Tucson Border Patrol Seizes More Than a Ton of Marijuana in 24-Hours
Tucson, Ariz. - Border Patrol agents assigned to the Tucson Sector, a component of the Joint Field Command-Arizona, seized more than 2,500 pounds of marijuana worth approximately $1,275,300 on October 4, in Nogales, Sonoita, and Willcox.
On the morning of October 4, Willcox agents attempted to stop a vehicle that was trying to circumvent the Border Patrol Checkpoint on State Route 80. The vehicle fled from agents and a short time later, the Silver SUV was found abandoned containing 14 bundles of marijuana. Agents apprehended two 21-year-old subjects in connection with the vehicle. One subject was identified as a United States citizen and the other, an illegal immigrant. Both were taken into custody and transported back to the station for processing. The narcotics and vehicle were seized. The total weight of the marijuana was more than 336 pounds with an estimated street value of $168,100.
On the evening of October 4, Nogales Station agents responded to a call of suspicious activity on the east side of Nogales. Agents arrived at the location of the call and discovered an abandoned vehicle nearby containing four bundles of marijuana. A further search of the area led agents to the driver, a 20-year-old United States citizen, who was taken into custody and transported to the station for processing. The marijuana had a total weight of almost 222 pounds with an estimated street value of $110,950. The vehicle was seized and the drugs were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
That same evening, Sonoita Station agents discovered an abandoned pick-up truck stuck on an embankment west of Harshaw. During inspection of the 2004 Ford F250, agents discovered a total of 85 bundles of marijuana in the cab and in the bed concealed under plywood. Both the vehicle and narcotics were seized and taken back to the station for processing. The total weight of the marijuana was more than 1,992 pounds with an estimated street value of $996,250.
Drug and human smuggling are federal crimes for which offenders will face stiff penalties. The likelihood of being detected by Border Patrol agents and the consequences of doing so are higher than ever before in Arizona. As a result, smugglers often choose to abandon their loads rather than risk apprehension and the associated penalties.
CBP announced the JFC-AZ in February as an organizational realignment that brings together the U.S. Border Patrol, Air and Marine, and Field Operations under a unified command structure. The JFC-AZ integrates CBP border security, commercial enforcement, and trade facilitation missions to more effectively meet the unique challenges faced in Arizona. CBP welcomes any assistance from the community. To report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol call (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.