Tucson, Ariz. - In two separate incidents over the weekend, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Tucson Sector discovered a total 793 pounds of marijuana hidden in secret compartments. The combined estimated street value of the marijuana is more than $634,000.
A Border Patrol canine team working the Interstate 19 checkpoint Friday alerted to an empty flatbed trailer. Agents using Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) equipment discovered a hidden compartment in the frame of the vehicle, containing 50 bundles of marijuana. (Photos available)
On Saturday, agents working the State Route 85 checkpoint used NII equipment on a recreational vehicle and located 18 bundles of marijuana hidden in the vehicle's floorboard. (Photos available)
As part of the U.S. Border Patrol's "Defense-in-Depth Strategy," checkpoints are an important tool for stemming the flow of contraband into the United States. By combining technology with other assets, such as canine units, the Border Patrol continues to interdict various attempts to smuggle illegal contraband and aliens into the United States. Between Oct. 1, 2009, and Mar. 31, 2010, the Tucson Sector Border Patrol seized more than 552,000 pounds of marijuana, with a value exceeding $441 million.