Tucson Air and Marine Operations Branch (AMO) and Tucson Sector United States Border Patrol (USBP) agents intercepted nine illegal aliens backpacking narcotics into the United States.
Federal agents responded to a report of suspected narcotics smuggling on Tuesday in the rugged terrain located near Three Points, Arizona, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported.
Air Interdiction Agents from the AMO Tucson Air Branch, along with agents from Tucson Sector’s Special Operations Detachment (SOD), located nine suspected drug smugglers as approached the area traveling in a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter.
SOD agents rappelled down from the helicopter as it hovered in place to intercept the smugglers who were carrying several “large packs.” The agents discovered over 429 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $215,000.
The nine smugglers – who were in the U.S. illegally – were arrested and referred for prosecution for narcotics smuggling and immigration violations.
“This is a good example of how Air and Marine Operations stands ready to assist partner law enforcement agencies when the needs arise,” Tucson Air Branch Director Mitch Pribble said. “It clearly demonstrates how CBP components work together to serve both the agency and the general public. I am proud of the work our crews did,” he added.
The Tucson Sector of the United States Border Patrol covers 262 miles of the U.S.- Mexico Border and is one of the busiest sectors regarding illegal immigration and narcotics trafficking.
Breitbart Texas reported on Wednesday that Border Patrol agents in working the Tucson Sector on May 21 located two off-road drug smuggling trucks that were carrying 1,100 pounds of marijuana across the border. On Tuesday, Breitbart Texas reported that agents in the same sector arrested two previously deported sex offenders who illegally re-entered the U.S.
Ryan Saavedra is a contributor for Breitbart Texas and can be found on Twitter at @RealSaavedra.