350 Pounds of Fentanyl, Coke Seized at Arizona Border, Say Feds

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
File Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized approximately 350 pounds of hard drugs consisting of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl worth over $6.1 million this past Saturday during three vehicle inspections in southern Arizona. The alleged seizures resulted in the arrests of two U.S. citizens and one Mexican national.

In the first incident, CBP officers assigned to the Port of Nogales Dennis DeConcini Crossing reportedly contacted a 67-year-old Rio Rico, Arizona, man in a Jeep SUV when he attempted to enter the U.S. on Saturday morning. Officers referred the driver to a secondary examination station where a K-9 drug detection officer sniffed the possible presence of drugs, according to CBP officials. Officers reportedly discovered approximately 21 pounds of heroin, worth almost $560,000; 103 pounds of cocaine, valued at $2.5M; 116 pounds of methamphetamine, at $347,000; and 1.5 pounds of suspected fentanyl, worth almost $20,000.

A short time later, CBP officers working the same Dennis DeConcini Crossing contacted a 21-year-old male from Phoenix driving a Honda sedan from Mexico. Officers referred the driver to a secondary examination where a search reportedly revealed two packages containing a substance believed to be methamphetamine from the rear tires, weighing 15 pounds and valued at nearly $45,000.

Later in the evening, CBP officers working the Mariposa Crossing came in contact with a 24-year-old Mexican national driving a Ford sedan. Officers then say they removed more than 70 packages consisting of 18 pounds of cocaine, worth more than $434,000; an additional 64 pounds of methamphetamine ($1.9M); more than 9 pounds of heroin ($245,000); and nearly 2 pounds of suspected fentanyl pills ($27,000).

All drugs recovered from the three vehicle inspections were seized and each driver was turned over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, according to a public statement.

Breitbart News reports extensively on large seizures by Mexican authorities and U.S. counterparts along the California, Arizona, and Texas border regions. Recently, Mexican Federal Police seized more than 550 pounds of methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl near San Luis, Arizona, after a short pursuit. The smugglers were able to flee without being arrested. Earlier this week, Breitbart also reported on the seizure of more than 2 tons of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and marijuana during separate security operations in the border states of Sonora and Baja California. Mexican Federal Police also seized approximately one ton of methamphetamine, fentanyl, and heroin near the California border.

Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at robertrarce@gmail.com.

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