Border patrol agents seize load of marijuana near Nogales


TUCSON – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents from the Nogales Station seized more than 1,100 pounds of marijuana, worth in excess of half a million dollars, abandoned in a cargo van when two men fled on foot in an attempt to avoid apprehension.

The incident occurred when agents patrolling Highway 82 spotted a suspicious Ford panel van as it headed east from Nogales. The vehicle then stopped at an intersection where the driver and a passenger exited, fleeing on foot.

The two occupants, both adult U.S. citizens, were apprehended a short distance from the van. When agents looked inside the van, they discovered dozens of large marijuana bundles in the cargo area.

Agents arrested both men and seized the vehicle and marijuana. During processing at the Nogales Border Patrol Station, agents determined the drugs had a combined weight of more than 1,100 pounds; valued at almost $600,000. Both men will be presented for prosecution on federal drug smuggling charges and will remain in custody pending a disposition.

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

U.S. Customs & Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous.