Wellton, Ariz. - On June 6, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents seized approximately 288 pounds of marijuana, arrested eight suspected smugglers, and two U.S. citizens suspected of fraudulent activity.
Agents assigned to the Wellton Station were patrolling near the eastern portion of the Barry M. Goldwater Range when they detected footprints of several individuals walking northbound. Agents began to track the footprints and apprehended eight subjects and five makeshift backpacks filled with marijuana approximately 3.5 miles south of Interstate 8. All of the subjects were Mexicans illegally present in the United States. The narcotics, with an estimated value of $144,000 and the subjects were turned over to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Team.
In an unrelated incident, agents assigned to the Interstate 8 Checkpoint near mile marker 17 were conducting immigration inspections when a white sedan approached the primary inspection area. A canine teamed alerted to the vehicle and it was referred for a secondary inspection. Following a second canine team alert, agents searched the vehicle and located a backpack containing marijuana residue as well as 111 fraudulent Nevada driver's licenses, eight Home Depot credit cards, four Lowe's credit cards, one camera, a Toshiba Satellite A205 computer, and other items typically used for producing fraudulent identification cards. A records check on the driver and passenger, both U.S. citizens, revealed criminal histories including the driver's suspected involvement in burglaries throughout California, Arizona, and Nevada. The subjects, vehicle and seized items were taken into custody and turned over to the Yuma County Sheriff's Office.
Since the March 2009 launch of the Southwest Border Initiative, the Department of Homeland Security has engaged in an unprecedented effort to bring focused intensity to Southwest border security, coupled with an invigorated, intelligent and effective approach to enforcing immigration laws in the interior of the U.S.
To report suspicious activity, contact the Yuma Sector Border Patrol toll free at (1-866) 999-8727.