Elements of the Mexican Federal Police seized approximately 3,000 fentanyl pills at a security checkpoint on the highway entrance to Nogales, Sonora, this past Monday. The seizure resulted in the arrest of a male driver.
Federal Police on Highway 15 Hermosillo-Nogales conducted a random inspection of a white pick-up truck which was not equipped with a front license plate, as required by law. Upon contacting the northbound male driver, investigators noted he appeared nervous and had his hands positioned at his waistband. Officers then discovered three transparent plastic bags concealed within his clothing containing approximately 3,000 fentanyl pills, according to local media reports.
The driver was placed under arrest and later handed over to investigators from the state attorney general’s office. The city of Nogales sits on the border with Nogales, Arizona, 180 miles from Phoenix.
The International border crossing in Nogales, Arizona, was recently the site of some major drug seizures to include one this past Saturday in which U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers found approximately 350 pounds of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl worth over $6.1 million. In late January, authorities seized 254 pounds of fentanyl and 395 pounds of methamphetamine during a regular inspection of an 18-wheeler. The seizure of fentanyl was the largest ever recorded at a U.S. port of entry.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org