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$4.5 Million in Marijuana, Meth, Cocaine Seized Over Past Weekend at San Luis Port

January 14, 2009
Right Side News Reports

San Luis, Ariz. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Field Operations at the San Luis port of entry seized more than 500 pounds of marijuana, more than 44 pounds of methamphetamine, and more than 16 pounds of cocaine in four separate instances from this past Friday to Monday, arresting five persons in connection with the failed smuggling attempts.

In addition, CBP Field Operations at San Luis intercepted and arrested four people, one of the four being a man who failed to register as a sex offender.

"These interceptions demonstrate the dedication of the officers to our mission," said Port Director William K. Brooks, and added "officers are able to pick up on signs during their inspections which lead them to believe something is wrong here."

The first narcotics seizure on Friday happened at about 11:22 a.m., when a CBP officer screening incoming vehicles became suspicious of the driver of a 2000 Ford Ranger P/U and sent him in for inspection. Based on his answers to routine questions and discrepancies with the vehicle, CBP officers, assisted by a K9 unit, searched the vehicle thoroughly and discovered that the passenger quarter panel was loaded. Officers removed a total of 22 packages of marijuana, weighing more than 45 pounds, which were seized along with the vehicle. The driver, a 22-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.

The second narcotics seizure on Friday came about at 12:41 p.m., when a CBP officer screening incoming vehicles became suspicious of the driver of a 1998 GMC Flatbed truck and sent him in for inspection, based on his answers to routine questions and discrepancies with the vehicle. CBP officers at secondary inspection searched the vehicle thoroughly and were assisted by a K9 unit. Officers discovered that the length of the flatbed was loaded with bales of marijuana. A total of 21 packages of marijuana, weighing more than 459 pounds, were removed from the flatbed. The driver, a 57-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation. The vehicle was seized.

The third narcotics seizure was on Saturday, at about 10:36 a.m., when CBP officers screening incoming vehicles at pre-primary became suspicious of the driver of a 1999 Honda Odyssey minivan and referred him to secondary inspection. Based on his answers to routine questions and discrepancies with the vehicle, CBP officers, assisted by a K9 unit, conducted a thorough search of the vehicle and discovered a non-factory compartment under the right front fender. When officers opened the compartment, they removed 19 packages of cocaine weighing more than 16 pounds and 13 packages of methamphetamine weighing more than 44 pounds. The driver, a 36-year-old laser visa holder from Mexico, and his passenger, a lawful permanent resident, were arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation. The vehicle was seized.

The fourth narcotics seizure occurred on Monday, at about 10:15 a.m., when CBP officers screening incoming vehicles at pre-primary became suspicious of the driver of a 2004 Ford F-150 P/U. Based on his answers to routine questions and discrepancies with the vehicle, CBP officers, assisted by a K9 unit, discovered a small bag that appeared to contain marijuana. The driver was found to be in possession of 2.89 grams of marijuana. He was arrested and deferred by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to the San Luis Police Department, along with the vehicle and narcotics.

On Monday, at about 12:26 p.m., CBP officer screening incoming pedestrians for admission to the U.S. became suspicious of a male applicant and referred him to secondary inspection. CBP officers discovered that the man was wanted for failure to register as a sex offender. The man was turned over to the San Luis Police Department.

Three other wanted individuals were arrested over the weekend as they attempted to enter the U.S at the San Luis port of entry. They were turned over to local law enforcement.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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