Yuma, Ariz. - U.S. Border Patrol agents stationed throughout Yuma, Ariz., Sector arrested 14 suspected drug smugglers in three separate incidents over Memorial Day weekend and seized more than $1,000,000 worth of drugs. On Friday evening, Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 78 checkpoint south of Blythe, Calif. referred a 2003 Nissan 350Z for secondary inspection after a Border Patrol canine team alerted to the vehicle. Agents inspected the vehicle and found six plastic bags of methamphetamines hidden throughout the passenger compartment. The methamphetamines weighed nearly three pounds and are valued at approximately $55,000. The driver and contraband were taken into custody and subsequently turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. On Saturday, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Yuma Station detected the illegal entry of a vehicle about 20 miles east of San Luis, Ariz. As agents responded to the area, the driver of the vehicle turned around and drove back toward the border to avoid arrest. The driver stopped just north of the border and he and three other occupants fled back into Mexico.
Agents secured the vehicle and discovered 23 bundles of marijuana. The marijuana weighed 524 pounds with an estimated street value of $419,200. The marijuana was turned over to DEA and the vehicle, a 2009 Jeep, was seized by the Border Patrol.
Late Sunday night, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Wellton Station arrested eight suspected smugglers near mile marker 97 on Interstate 8. Agents seized 12 large backpack-style bundles with a combined weight of 283 pounds. The drugs have an estimated street value of $226,400. Border Patrol agents turned the marijuana and drug smugglers over to the Maricopa County Narcotics Taskforce.
Early Monday morning, Wellton Border Patrol agents arrested five more smugglers near the same area where the group of eight was arrested the night before. Agents seized nine bundles of marijuana weighing 431 pounds with an estimated street value of $344,000. Agents turned the marijuana and smugglers over to the Maricopa Country Sheriff's Office.
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.