Tucson Sector Border Patrol Disrupts Smugglers' Attempts in the West Desert
Tucson, Arizona - In three separate incidents over the weekend, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents interdicted three firearms, 14 rounds of ammunition, 3.3 pounds of heroin, 225 pounds of methamphetamine and a total of 4,265 pounds of marijuana.
On Friday, May 6, a canine team assigned to the Ajo Station assisted the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) with a vehicle search. The vehicle was transported to State Route 85 Checkpoint for further inspection after the canine alerted to possible hidden narcotics. At the checkpoint, agents using Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) technology detected anomalies within the conveyance. Further inspection led agents and officers to discover 197 packages containing more than 225 pounds of methamphetamine along with two packages of heroin, weighing 3.3 pounds. The driver, vehicle and narcotics were taken into custody by DPS for processing.
In a separate incident on Friday, Ajo Station agents using Mobile Surveillance System (MSS) technology detected a group of smugglers backpacking possible marijuana through the West Desert. All Terrain Unit (ATU) agents, along with CBP air assets, responded to interdict. Agents apprehended 10 smugglers with 92 bundles of marijuana, weighing approximately 3,589 pounds. The smugglers and marijuana were transported to the Ajo Station for processing.
On Sunday morning, May 8, Casa Grande Station agents apprehended five illegal aliens suspected of drug smuggling near Stanfield, Arizona. With the assistance of a canine team, agents conducted an extensive search in the area of the apprehension and discovered 63 bundles of marijuana and a backpack that had been buried in the sand. The backpack contained a rifle, two pistols and 14 rounds of ammunition. The marijuana, weighing approximately 676 pounds, the five subjects and weapons were seized and transported to the Casa Grande Station for processing.
The above incidents demonstrate the Tucson Sector Border Patrol's ability to quickly adapt and shift resources to mitigate smuggling activity and counter threats posed by transnational criminal organizations to deny and disrupt their efforts.
Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, the 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.
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.