TUCSON – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Willcox Station seized more than 220 pounds of marijuana and found a Mexican man in the trunk of a vehicle during separate incidents at immigration checkpoints.
Agents assigned to the State Route 191 immigration checkpoint referred a white Chevrolet pickup truck for a secondary inspection after a Border Patrol canine alerted to an odor it was trained to detect. A search of the truck revealed more than 220 pounds of marijuana, worth in excess of $110,000, concealed within suitcases in the truck’s bed.
Agents arrested the male driver, a 66-year-old U.S. citizen, for contraband smuggling, and transported the truck and marijuana to the Willcox Border Patrol Station for further processing.
On Sunday, the same Border Patrol canine team was working at the State Route 90 immigration checkpoint when the canine alerted to an odor it was trained to detect coming from a silver Mazda 6. Agents conducted a secondary inspection and discovered a 26 year-old Mexican man in the trunk.
Agents arrested the driver and a front-seat passenger, both U.S. citizens, for smuggling. The Mexican national is being processed for immigration violations.
Smuggling humans in the trunk of a vehicle is dangerous anytime. The possibility of a collision or fire could prove fatal. On hot Arizona days, riding in the trunk of a vehicle can also result in death due to poor ventilation and excessive heat buildup.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials welcome assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. Contacting the Border Patrol to report illicit activity could result in saving someone’s life.