Tucson, Ariz. – More than 2,600 pounds of marijuana, valued at $1.3 million, and two all-terrain vehicles were seized recently in two separate incidents by the Tucson Sector Border Patrol, a component of the Customs and Border Protection Joint Field Command – Arizona.
Casa Grande Station agents using detection technology responded to suspected illegal activity on September 16 and discovered and followed tire tracks to an abandoned vehicle concealed in a brush pile. Inside the vehicle were 90 bundles of marijuana, weighing more than 1,900 pounds and valued at $953,000. The vehicle and narcotics were seized.
Later, Ajo Station agents detected and followed ATV tracks in the Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge. The tracks led agents to two abandoned ATVs concealed with camouflage and loaded with 724 pounds of marijuana. Record checks on the ATVs revealed one had been reported stolen. The stolen ATV was turned over to the Pima County Sheriff’s Office. The marijuana, valued at $362,000, and the second ATV were seized and transported for processing.
Smuggling contraband, whether it’s drugs or humans, is a federal crime. Smugglers frequently choose to abandon their loads rather than risk apprehension and the associated penalties.
CBP announced the JFC-AZ in February 2011 as an organizational realignment that brings together the U.S. Border Patrol, Air and Marine, and Field Operations under a unified command structure. The JFC-AZ integrates CBP’s border security, commercial enforcement, and trade facilitation missions to more effectively meet the unique challenges faced in the Arizona area of operations.
Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. To report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol call (877) 872-7435 toll free. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous.
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.