Tucson, Ariz. - Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents seized more than 300 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of more than $254,000 in two separate incidents yesterday.
A canine team assigned to the Nogales Station alerted to a vehicle at the Interstate 19 Checkpoint during a primary inspection. The vehicle was then sent to secondary inspection and through Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII), agents detected an anomaly in the bed of the truck resulting in the discovery of more than 170 pounds of marijuana in a hidden compartment. The driver, vehicle, and marijuana, with an estimated value close to $140,000, were transported to the Nogales Station for processing.
In a second incident, agents assigned to the Casa Grande Station responded to detection technology in the West Desert and found an abandoned pickup truck. Agents recovered more than 140 pounds of marijuana and an assault rifle in the truck. An exhaustive search was performed but agents were unable to locate anyone in connection with the vehicle. Record checks revealed that the truck had been reported stolen and it was subsequently turned over to the Tohono O'odham Police Department. The assault rifle and marijuana, with an estimated value of more than $115,000, were taken to the Casa Grande Station for processing.
"These seizures are evidence that the Tucson Sector is using its resources effectively and efficiently and placing more pressure on the smuggling organizations," said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent of the Tucson Sector, Mark Rios. "Agents continue to make it increasingly difficult for smugglers to operate in the Tucson Sector."
As the Tucson Sector continues to gain effective control of our borders, smugglers are turning to more desperate means of transporting their narcotics into the United States. Border Patrol specialty units, such as canine teams, paired with technology at checkpoints, such as the NII, continue to give agents the tools to accomplish the Border Patrol's mission of securing our border. Agents assigned to Tucson Sector continue to be extremely effective at detecting and seizing illegal drugs and humans.
The Border Patrol continues to rely on the community to ensure that illicit drugs or activity do not reach further into our communities. Should you see suspicious activity please report it to our toll free number at 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.