TUCSON, Ariz. – Customs and Border Protection officers arrested a Mexican national man and a Nogales, Arizona woman during separate attempts to smuggle methamphetamine through the Port of Nogales on Jan. 26.
Officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing selected a GM SUV, driven by Jose Joaquin Fuentes-Balbastro, 40, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, for further inspection. A CBP narcotics detection canine then alerted to the presence of drugs, leading officers to find nearly 47 pounds of meth, worth nearly $140,000, in the SUV’s rear cargo area.
Later, officers at the Mariposa crossing referred Latasha Monae Velasco, 25, of Nogales, Arizona, for further inspection of her Honda SUV and discovered 37 packages of meth weighing 36.5 pounds, worth nearly $110,000, in the SUV’s wheel wells.
Officers processed the vehicles and drugs for seizure, and referred both subjects to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
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.