Nogales CBP officers seize $578K in hard drugs

drugs2-DBP-1TUCSON, Ariz. – Customs and Border Protection officers arrested two U.S. citizens and a Mexican national for alleged weekend attempts to smuggle a combined 120 pounds of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine through the Port of Nogales’ DeConcini crossing.

Officers referred a 26-year-old Mexican woman for further inspection of her Dodge sedan Friday and found 7 pounds of cocaine, 11 pounds of heroin and 35 pounds of meth within the vehicle’s rocker panels. The drugs have a combined value exceeding $376,000.

Saturday, officers referred a 22-year-old Tucson woman for an additional search of her Chevrolet sedan. After a CBP canine alerted to the presence of drugs within the vehicle, officers found 46 pounds of meth, valued at $138,000, in the vehicle’s rear side panels.

Sunday, officers referred a 37-year-old man from Sahuarita, Arizona for further search of his Toyota truck. A positive alert by a canine team led to the discovery of more than 20 pounds of meth, worth approximately $64,000, within both front fenders.

CBP officers seized the drugs and vehicles, and turned the 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.