Customs and Border Protection officers arrested four individuals involved in separate attempts this week to sneak approximately $655,000 worth of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine through the Port of Nogales.
Officers working with a CBP narcotics-detection canine team at the Dennis DeConcini crossing October 19 seized more than $403,000 worth of cocaine, weighing nearly 32 pounds, and heroin, weighing close to three pounds, from a 22-year-old Mexican man after finding the drugs in his Jeep SUV.
Earlier that morning, officers working with a canine at the DeConcini crossing located almost $164,000 in meth, cocaine and heroin in a Nissan sedan driven by a 31-year-old man from Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.
Later that afternoon, a 24-year-old Tucson man was attempting to cross into the United States through the DeConcini pedestrian lanes when officers referred him for further inspection and found approximately $31,000 worth of cocaine in his groin area.
On October 18, officers at the DeConcini pedestrian lanes referred a 50-year-old Mexican woman for further inspection and, thanks to a drug canine’s alert, discovered more than $57,000 worth of cocaine wrapped around her midsection.
Officers seized all drugs and vehicles involved, and turned the subjects over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
U.S. citizens arrested, smuggling Mexican nationals in car trunk
A Border Patrol canine team at the immigration checkpoint on Interstate 8, east of Yuma, alerted agents to a vehicle Wednesday visibly occupied by a man and woman, both U.S. citizens.
Agents referred the couple for a secondary inspection of their vehicle and found two Mexican nationals hiding in the trunk. Both were illegally present in the United States.
“It is a long held opinion of all of us who deal with smugglers on a daily basis that they have absolutely no regard for human life,” said Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony J. Porvaznik. “Smuggling people in the trunk of a vehicle could result in death due to the heat, carbon monoxide poisoning, suffocation, or any number of causes.”
The U.S. citizens are being charged with alien smuggling; while the two aliens are being processed per Yuma Sector guidelines. Agents also seized the vehicle used in the smuggling attempt.
San Luis CBP Officers nab meth body carrier
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of San Luis arrested an 18-year-old man, from San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico, after finding more than 3 pounds of methamphetamine, valued in excess of $10,000, taped to his body.
On Tuesday, October 18, a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted officers to the drugs, resulting in the removal of two packages of methamphetamine wrapped around his thighs.
Officers seized the drugs and referred the subject to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Four apprehended with $.5 million in drugs
Customs and Border Protection officers arrested four involved in separate weekend attempts to smuggle more than $500,000 worth of cocaine and methamphetamine through the Port of Nogales.
Officers at the Mariposa crossing referred a 36-year-old woman from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, for a secondary inspection of her Volkswagen sedan October 15. After a CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to one of the vehicle’s rear quarter panels, officers found more than 21 pounds of cocaine worth in excess of $243,000.
Also on October 15, a CBP canine working alongside officers at the Mariposa crossing helped locate more than 15 pounds of cocaine, worth in excess of $175,000, and more than 5 pounds of meth, worth more than $15,000, under the rear seats of a Hyundai SUV. Officers arrested the female driver, 33, and her 29-year-old female passenger, both of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.
A CBP canine also assisted with a third seizure October 14 at the Dennis DeConcini crossing by alerting officers to a Volkswagen sedan transporting nearly 25 pounds of methamphetamine worth more than $74,000. Officers arrested the driver, a 25-year-old man from Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.
Officers seized all drugs and vehicles used in the smuggling attempts, and turned the subjects over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Vehicles flee checkpoint, caught later with marijuana, guns
Border Patrol agents working at a checkpoint in Blythe, California, seized more than $76,000 in marijuana and three weapons during separate incidents yesterday, two of which involved vehicle pursuits.
Canine teams alerted to two vehicles during separate primary inspections, resulting in the drivers being directed to a secondary inspection. In each case, instead of pulling over for the secondary inspection, the vehicles sped through the checkpoint.
One of the vehicles reached excessive speeds while passing other motorist on the shoulder of the Interstate. La Paz County Sheriff’s Office, the Quartzsite Police Department and Arizona Department of Transportation assisted in the pursuit that ended when the driver crashed into a concrete barrier. The driver, a male U.S. citizen, fled the scene on foot but was quickly captured by Blythe agents. Agents then searched the vehicle and found 147 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $73,500, and a loaded handgun.
During pursuit of the second vehicle, agents observed the male driver, also a U.S. citizen, throw a suitcase from one of the vehicle’s windows shortly before stopping. Agents took the driver into custody and recovered the suitcase, containing nearly 5 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $2,400. Agents also recovered an AR-15 rifle found next to the suitcase.
A third incident at the checkpoint occurred after an agent detected a strong marijuana odor emitting from the vehicle and referred the driver for a secondary inspection. During the subsequent search, agents found a safe in the back of the vehicle containing a loaded handgun, several drug paraphernalia items, and a pound of marijuana worth about $500.
All vehicles, weapons, drugs and suspects were processed per Yuma Sector guidelines.
Douglas CBP Officers seize $223K in marijuana
Customs and Border Protection officers at the Raul Hector Castro Port of Entry in Douglas, Arizona, arrested two men during separate weekend attempts to smuggle a combined $223,000 worth of marijuana into the United States.
After officers referred a 29-year-old Douglas man for further inspection of his Isuzu SUV Oct. 14, a CBP narcotics-detection canine helped officers locate nearly 290 pounds of marijuana, worth approximately $145,000, hidden throughout the vehicle.
On October 16, when a 36-year-old male resident alien in a Ford pick-up truck attempted to enter the United States, a narcotics-detection canine alert led officers to find almost 157 pounds of marijuana, worth more than $78,000.
Officers seized the marijuana and vehicles, and turned both subjects over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Border Patrol agents arrest 12, seize nearly $450K in drugs
Wellton Station agents took a dozen illegal aliens into custody and confiscated nearly 900 pounds of marijuana Friday morning, October 14 worth almost $450,000.
At approximately 10 a.m., the group of suspected smugglers were seen hiking through the desert, carrying what appeared to be backpacks of marijuana, through a remote region about three miles south of the Sentinel Rest area.
Responding agents located and apprehended the group, all dressed in camouflage.
All subjects and the marijuana will be processed per Yuma Sector guidelines.
Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless or until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents effectively combat smuggling organizations attempting to illegally transport people and contraband through southwestern Arizona and California. Citizens can help the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling 1-866-999-8727 toll-free to report suspicious activity. Callers can remain anonymous.