Tucson, Ariz. - Border Patrol agents assigned to the Tucson Sector, a component of the Joint Field Command-Arizona, seized more than 1,900 pounds of marijuana worth approximately $995,500 during three weekend incidents.
Casa Grande agents working with Office of Air and Marine and infrared detection assets responded to an area where 12 subjects were seen carrying large backpacks into the United States. As agents arrived, the helicopter crew observed all 12 subjects abscond back to Mexico. Agents searched the area and found 10 bundles of abandoned marijuana weighing more than 500 pounds and worth roughly $257,000.
On Saturday, a Willcox Station canine team working the primary inspection lane at the State Route 80 checkpoint alerted to a vehicle that agents later discovered was transporting 95 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $47,500. Agents found 20 bundles of marijuana hidden in a non-factory compartment under the truck's bed. The driver was apprehended and is awaiting prosecution on smuggling charges. The vehicle and marijuana were seized for processing.
Sunday, an all terrain unit from the Ajo Station was patrolling in the West Desert east of the Lukeville Port and discovered footprints belonging to a possible group of illegal immigrants leading north from the border. Agents tracked the footprints to a bundle of marijuana hidden under some rocks at the top of a mountain. During an extensive search of the surrounding area, agents found an additional 29 bundles. The marijuana was transported to the Ajo Station and weighed in at 1,382 pounds, making it value approximately $691,000.
The Tucson Sector has been effective in combating smuggling organizations and their ability to transport contraband throughout the United States. The probabilities of arrest and associated penalties have caused smugglers to often abandon their drug loads rather than risk apprehension and prosecution.
Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol by calling (1-877) 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.