Tucson, Ariz. - On Monday, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents seized an abandoned vehicle in the West Desert loaded with 1,958 pounds of marijuana and also responded to a vehicle accident resulting in the arrest of two U.S. citizens and the seizure of a brick of marijuana weighing approximately 26 pounds. Both marijuana seizures had a combined estimated value of $979,000.
Late Monday morning, Tucson Station agents encountered a vehicle that had been involved in an accident in the Avra Valley area. As agents arrived on the scene, they observed a passenger attempting to run into the desert with a brick of what they suspected was marijuana. The agents quickly apprehended the subject and seized the narcotics. The marijuana weighed 26 pounds with an estimated value of $13,000. The driver and passenger, both United States citizens, are being prosecuted on federal drug charges. The vehicle and narcotics were seized and transported to the Tucson Station for processing.
In a separate incident, Ajo Station agents responded to detection technology northeast of the Lukeville Port and discovered an abandoned vehicle in the brush. After securing the scene, agents inspected the vehicle and discovered 1,932 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle. A records check revealed the vehicle was reported stolen out of Colorado. The vehicle was turned over to the Tohono O'odham Police Department and the narcotics, with a value of $966,000, were transported to the Ajo Station for processing.
As a result of the Border Patrol's increased efforts to disrupt and deny transnational criminal organizations from operating in the Tucson Sector, smugglers will often abandon their drug loads rather than risk apprehension and face prosecution. Technology assists agents in their efforts to detect and interdict threats near the border by providing greater situational awareness in remote areas of the border.
Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has made significant investments towards establishing a secure and safe border environment and improving the quality of life throughout the communities in the state of Arizona.
The Border Patrol welcomes assistance from the community. Report suspicious activity by calling toll free 1-877-872-7435. All calls will be answered and will remain anonymous.