Tucson, AZ. - More than a ton of marijuana, worth an estimated $1.1 million, was seized; five subjects were arrested on drug charges; and a stolen vehicle was recovered, all in recent and separate incidents by agents from the Tucson Sector Border Patrol, in support of the Joint Field Command-Arizona.
On September 20, Casa Grande Station agents, acting on a citizen's report of a suspicious vehicle northeast of Lukeville, Ariz., responded and requested assistance from a CBP helicopter. The air crew observed a pick-up truck concealed in the brush in the vicinity of Federal Route 34, near the reported location. A search of the unattended truck revealed 84 bundles of marijuana weighing more than 1,900 pounds. Record checks revealed the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Phoenix, Arizona and was turned over to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office. The marijuana, valued at $955,500, will be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
On September 21, agents assigned to the Tucson Station observed six suspected illegal aliens walking in the desert toward State Route 286, near Three Points. As agents closed in, they observed the suspects handling what appeared to be bundles of marijuana. When the agents identified themselves, all six suspects absconded into the desert. A search of the area resulted in the recovery of six bundles of marijuana, a handgun, and the apprehension of five of the subjects. The marijuana had a combined weight of 312 pounds and an estimated value of $156,000. The apprehended subjects, handgun and marijuana were transported to the Tucson Station for further processing. Prosecution on federal drug charges will be sought against the subjects.
CBP announced the JFC-AZ in February as an organizational realignment that brings together Border Patrol, Air and Marine, and Field Operations in Arizona under a unified command structure. The JFC-AZ integrates the CBP border security, commercial enforcement, and trade facilitation missions to more effectively meet the unique challenges faced in Arizona.
CBP appreciates any assistance from the community. Suspicious activity can be reported by calling the U.S. Border Patrol at 1-877-872-7435. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous.