$2.26 million in drugs seized over the weekendby Hugh Holub on Apr. 05, 2011, under border issues, border patrol, border patrol tucson sector, drug smuggling, politics
US Customs and Border Protection Press Release April 5, 2011:
Tucson Sector Border Patrol’s Checkpoints; Specialty Units Enhance Layered Defense
More than $2 million in narcotics seized
TUCSON, Ariz. – Border Patrol agents assigned to the Tucson Sector demonstrated exceptional effectiveness over the first weekend of April by seizing more than 2,479 pounds of marijuana, nearly 60 pounds of cocaine, more than 31 pounds of methamphetamines and a shotgun. The narcotics have an estimated combined value of $2.26 million.
Early on April 2, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) canine team working checkpoint operations on State Route 80 near Tombstone, Ariz., alerted positively to a 1993 Ford Explorer and referred it for a secondary inspection. Subsequently, Willcox Station Border Patrol agents found 30 grams of marijuana concealed in the waistband of the driver along with a shotgun concealed under the back seat. A records check revealed the driver, a 36-year-old United States citizen male, had been previously arrested and convicted of marijuana possession in Phoenix. The Tombstone Marshal’s Office responded and took custody of the driver, marijuana, vehicle and shotgun.
That afternoon, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Casa Grande station conducting checkpoint operations on State Route 86 referred a vehicle for a secondary inspection. The driver failed to pull into the secondary inspection area and fled the area. The vehicle and driver were located with assistance from a CBP helicopter near Mission Road. The driver was taken into custody and a subsequent search of the vehicle yielded three bundles of marijuana weighing 87 pounds, with an estimated value of $43,500.
On April 3, agents assigned to the Nogales Border Patrol Station working checkpoint operations on Interstate 19 referred a vehicle for a secondary inspection after a canine team alerted positively. During a non-intrusive inspection (NII), agents discovered 31 pounds of methamphetamines and 27 pounds of cocaine in hidden compartments. The narcotics have an estimated value of $723,720. The driver was taken into custody and will be prosecuted.
In a separate incident that day, Border Patrol agents assigned to Ajo Station’s All Terrain Unit were patrolling in the West Desert when they located and seized 12 bundles of marijuana near the border. The marijuana weighed 584 pounds, with estimated value of $292,800.
As a result of the Border Patrol’s increased efforts to disrupt and deny transnational criminal organizations from operating in the Tucson Sector, smugglers will often abandon their drug loads rather than risk apprehension and face prosecution.
Border Patrol checkpoints continue to be effective barriers that prevent illegal narcotics from entering the interior of the nation. Canine teams, along with technology such as the NII, continue to maximize the efficiency of the checkpoint and enhance agents’ abilities to rapidly detect and interdict contraband.
In March 2009, the Department of Homeland Security launched the Southwest Border Initiative to bring unprecedented focus and intensity to securing the Southwest border, coupled with a reinvigorated, smart, and effective approach to enforcing our immigration laws.
The Border Patrol welcomes assistance from the community. Report suspicious activity by calling toll free 1-877-872-7435. All calls will be answered and will remain anonymous.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.