TUCSON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of Nogales seized marijuana and cocaine with a combined value of more than $7,200,000.
Officers at the Mariposa Commercial Facility referred a tractor trailer carrying bell peppers, and its’ 46-year-old Mexican male driver, for further inspection. When the commodity was off-loaded, a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted to an odor it was trained to detect. Subsequently, officers discovered and removed more than 13,700 pounds of marijuana, which was co-mingled with the produce. The drugs have an estimated value of $6.85M.
Later that evening, officers at the Dennis DeConcini Crossing referred a 29-year-old Mexican man, for a closer inspection of his Ford SUV. Using a CBP narcotics-detection canine, officers located more than 34 pounds of cocaine hidden in the vehicle’s back seats. The drugs were estimated to be worth nearly $386,000.
The narcotics and vehicles involved were seized, and both subjects were arrested and turned 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 for 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.