52 pounds of cocaine seized at Nogales entryby Carli Brosseau on Nov. 24, 2007, under Local, Special
Authorities arrested two women separately trying to smuggle 52 pounds of cocaine through the Nogales Port of Entry during heavy traffic on Thursday, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman said.
“Smugglers try to blend in with legitimate traffic,” Port Director James Tong said in a press release. Spokesman Brian Levin said the port was busier than usual because of Thanksgiving but no figures were available Friday.
A 36-year-old woman from Nogales, Son., was arrested when officers found 28 pounds of cocaine in a hidden compartment of the sport utility vehicle she was driving, Levin said. The drugs had an estimated street value of $474,000.
Officers found the other 24 pounds in a minivan driven by a 38-year-old woman from Nogales, Son., Levin said. The 10 packages, worth about $401,000, were stashed in a built-in compartment.
Officers became suspicious of both drivers because of their answers to routine questions. Levin said. Drug-sniffing dogs helped in both cases.
Levin said CBP officers on Wednesday arrested a man wanted on an attempted murder charge in Monterey County, central California, at the San Luis Port of Entry.
Manuel Ramos, 19, of Soledad, Calif., was a passenger in a car whose driver was listed as suspicious in CBP databases, Levin said.