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West Desert Task Force Seizes $4 Million of Marijuana in 4 Weeks

Release Date: 
October 25, 2013

TUCSON, ARIZ.—In the last four weeks, the West Desert Task Force (WDTF) seized more than 7,600 pounds of marijuana, a stolen vehicle, firearms and illegal aliens.

Despite the recent partial government shutdown, WDTF agents using sign-cutting skills, sensors and other assets were busy gathering information and shutting down transnational criminal operations.

A few significant incidents include:

  • agents responding to detection technology in the Vekol Valley area where they followed vehicle tracks leading to an abandoned Ford pickup truck - engine still running - loaded with 36 bundles of marijuana;
  • finding 87 bundles of marijuana in an abandoned vehicle on the Tohono O'odham nation;
  • tracking more tire tracks for several miles in the west desert leading to an abandoned, stolen vehicle filled with 80 bundles of marijuana; and
  • seizing 51 additional bundles of marijuana on the Tohono O'odham nation near the village of Kaka.



Bundles wrapped in burlap with backpack style straps commonly used to carry marijuana on foot.

Bundles wrapped in burlap with backpack style straps commonly used to carry marijuana on foot.

The West Desert Task Force is a joint initiative between U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, and the Pinal County Sheriff's Office to combat narcotics trafficking in Arizona's west desert region. The task force is sponsored by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, and works in association with the Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats.

The Tucson Sector Border Patrol values its strong partnerships with other federal, state, tribal and local agencies. Together, these organizations continue to negatively impact transnational criminal organizations' attempting to exploit Arizona's border region.

Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling (877) 872-7435 toll free.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017