Nogales, Ariz. - In less than a week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working the cargo facility at Nogales Port of Entry, intercepted three major marijuana smuggling attempts worth more than $9.9 million.
The first seizure occurred on June 4 at about 1:45 p.m. CBP officers selected for inspection a 1993 Freightliner tractor-trailer being driven by a 35-year-old man from Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico. A thorough inspection of the commodity by CBP officers, revealed 226 bales of marijuana totaling 4,794 pounds. The marijuana bales were commingled with boxes of roma tomatoes.
The second seizure happened on June 8 at approximately 4 p.m., when officers screening inbound cargo, stopped a 49-year-old man from Nogales, Sonora, Mexico driving a 1986 White Motor Company tractor-trailer. Officers discovered 147 bales of marijuana, with a total weight of 3,236 pounds, concealed in a shipment manifested as tomatoes.
Also on June 8, a few minutes after the 3,236-pound seizure, CBP officers targeted for inspection, a 1991 Kenworth tractor-trailer. This time, the commodity was manifested as yellow peppers. The driver was a 49-year-old man from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Officers searched the conveyance in which 209 bundles of marijuana, weighing 3,719 pounds were found.
The marijuana and conveyances were seized; all three men were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.
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.