U.S. Border Patrol agents seized guns and drugs following two pursuits in southern Arizona and far southeast California on October 19. Another encounter led to the seizure of 900 pounds of marijuana and the arrest of 12 illegal aliens working as mules for cartel smugglers.
Agents assigned to the Yuma Sector were working an inland checkpoint near Blythe, California. The agents requested a driver to move his vehicle to a secondary inspection station after a K-9 agent alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle. Instead of complying with the order, the driver took off in his vehicle causing Border Patrol agents to engage in a high-speed pursuit. The driver “reached excessive speeds while passing other motorists on the shoulder of the interstate highway, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from U.S. Customs and Border Protections officials.
As the pursuit continued eastbound on IH-10 into Arizona, deputies from the La Paz County Sheriff’s Office, officers from the Quartzsite Police Department and workers from the Arizona Department of Transportation assisted with the pursuit. The driver eventually crashed into a concrete barrier and fled on foot. He was captured a short time later and identified as a U.S. citizen. A search of his vehicle uncovered 147 pounds of marijuana and a loaded handgun. The marijuana was estimated to have a street value of $73,500 by Border Patrol agents.
In a second incident that same day, Border Patrol agents engaged in a second pursuit after a driver fled the checkpoint. Agents observed the driver tossing a suitcase out of the vehicle before he stopped. The agents arrested the driver, also a U.S. citizen. A search revealed five pounds of marijuana and an AR-15 rifle.
Later that day, agents detected the odor of marijuana coming from a third vehicle and referred the driver to a secondary inspection station. This driver complied. During a search of the vehicle, agents found a safe in the back. The safe contained a loaded handgun, several items of drug paraphernalia and a pound of marijuana.
All of the drivers were arrested and turned over to federal officials for possible prosecution. The vehicle, drugs and weapons were seized by the government.
A few days earlier, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Welton Station in far southwestern Arizona encountered a team of illegal aliens smuggling a large load of marijuana in backpacks. The illegal aliens were serving as mules for cartel smugglers in an area just south of the IH-8 rest area outside Sentinel, Arizona and north of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. The team of smugglers had been observed hiking through the desert carrying large backpacks. Agents responded and apprehended the group.
The agents recovered 17 backpacks containing nearly 900 pounds of marijuana. Officials estimated the street value of the drugs to be nearly $450,000.
All of the illegal aliens were arrested and placed into custody and will be “processed per Yuma Sector guidelines,” officials stated.