TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, officers arrested a Mexican national and four U.S. citizens for separate alleged attempts to smuggle a 187 pounds of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl through Arizona Ports of Entry on Monday.
Officers at the Port of Douglas referred a 47-year-old Douglas, Arizona, man for additional inspection of his KIA sedan, as he attempted to enter the U.S. through the port early Monday morning. The search of the vehicle led to the discovery of 3 packages of drugs from within the rear seats, which were determined to be just more than 9 pounds of cocaine, worth almost $123,000.
Earlier that morning, officers assigned to the DeConcini Crossing in Nogales referred a 42-year-old female resident of Oracle, Arizona and her 40-year-old female Mexican national passenger for an additional search of her Nissan sedan as they attempted to enter the U.S. through the port. After a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted to a scent it is trained to detect, the search led to the discovery of 50 packages throughout the vehicle. The contents were determined to be more than 54 pounds of meth, worth almost $49,000.
That afternoon, officers at the DeConcini Crossing selected a 30-year-old female driver and her 26-year-old male passenger, both from Mesa, for an additional search of her Chevy SUV as they attempted to enter the U.S. through the port. A positive alert by a CBP canine led to the removal of more than 70 packages of drugs from throughout the vehicle. They were identified as more than 90 pounds of heroin, worth more than $1.03M; more than 11 pounds of fentanyl, worth more than $122,000; more than 2 pounds of meth, worth almost $2,000 and nearly 20 pounds of cocaine, worth almost $272,000.
Officers seized the drugs and vehicles, while the subjects were arrested and then turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Federal law allows officers 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.
CBP's Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.
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’s mission includes keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws. Follow us on Twitter @CBPArizona.