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4 Drug Busts Total 2 Tons, Worth More than $3.3 Million

January 31, 2009
Right Side News
Tucson, Ariz. - Border Patrol agents from the Tucson Sector successfully foiled several attempts to smuggle marijuana in separate incidents within the last three days.

On Monday, agents assigned to the Nogales Border Patrol Station using surveillance technology observed several horses loaded with bundles suspected to be marijuana entering the United States just outside of Nogales, Ariz. Soon after, a Ford F-150 was observed driving away from the same area. Agents were able to successfully stop the vehicle after a short chase.

The driver attempted to run from the vehicle to avoid arrest, but was apprehended by agents. Approximately 587 pounds of marijuana were discovered in the bed and cab of the truck. The marijuana, worth an estimated $469,600 was transferred to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The driver now faces possible prosecution.

569 pounds of marijuana in the bed of a truck.
Drug smugglers unsuccessfully attempted to bring 12 bundles of marijuana into the U.S. in the bed of a pick-up.

Also on Monday, a Chevy Impala was referred to a secondary inspection area at the Border Patrol checkpoint located in Amado, Ariz., after a service K-9 alerted to the possible presence of narcotics. The female driver failed to comply with the directions of the Nogales Border Patrol agent and fled the checkpoint almost causing injury to one of the agents. The vehicle was successfully stopped a short distance later after it became disabled. Border Patrol agents discovered 210 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle. The female was taken in custody and now faces possible prosecution.
Bundles of marijuana are discovered in a vehicle
Agents discover 210 pounds of marijuana in a vehicle caught after fleeing a checkpoint inspection.

Yesterday, two significant drug busts occurred. In the early morning in a canyon west of Rio Rico, Ariz., agents tracking a group of possible drug smugglers located 12 bundles of marijuana abandoned in the desert. The drugs, weighing approximately 569 pounds have an estimated value of $455,200, have been transferred the DEA for disposal.

In a separate incident yesterday, Agents working east of Sasabe, Ariz., encountered an abandoned Dodge pickup truck in the desert. Agents discovered 120 bundles of marijuana inside the truck with an estimated weight of approximately 2,800 pounds. The drugs have and estimated street value of more than $2.2 million. The vehicle had been reported stolen out of Bagdad, Ariz., and has been turned over to the Pima County Sheriffs office for recovery.

The four marijuana seizures totaled 4,151 pounds with an estimated value of $3,320,800.00. As their criminal activity is hindered by Tucson sector enforcement operations, smugglers continue to go to great lengths to commit their crime. With larger loads of narcotics seized successfully by Tucson Sector agents, smugglers sometimes attempt to transport their cargo in smaller amounts, hoping to avoid detection. It is these efforts made by the smugglers that clearly demonstrate the increased frustration among cartels. These cases are an excellent examples of how integrative, organized operations along the border work collectively to ensure that criminals are unsuccessful regardless of their persistence or ingenuity.

In the performance of their duties, Tucson sector agents, have seized 232,229 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $185.7 million and nearly 700 vehicles have been confiscated during the first three months of fiscal year 2009 (October, November and December, 2008).

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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