No Holidays for Drug Smugglers Caught in Nogales


TUCSON – Customs and Border Protection officers arrested two people two days before Christmas for separate attempts to smuggle a combined $224,000 worth of methamphetamine and heroin through the Port of Nogales.

Officers working with a CBP narcotics-detection canine at the Dennis DeConcini crossing on Dec. 23 found more than 19 pounds of meth and 9 nine pounds of heroin, worth more than $209,000, in the rocker panels of a Dodge hatchback driven by a 35-year-old Tucson woman.

drugs strapped to legsLater that night, officers at the Mariposa crossing stopped a 26-year-old man from Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, driving a Dodge truck. Instead of finding drugs in the vehicle, however, officers found 5 pounds of meth, worth approximately $15,000, strapped around the man’s midsection as well as around his calves.

Officers seized all drugs and vehicles, and turned both subjects over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Federal law allows officers 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 and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

CBP’s Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation’s food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.