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Feds Seize $2.6 Million in Drugs at Arizona Border

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent and K-9 security dog keep watch at a checkpoint station, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Falfurrias, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP File Photo: Eric Gay
ROBERT ARCE

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized approximately 360 pounds of methamphetamine and 2,900 of marijuana on Wednesday during two vehicle inspections at the Arizona border with Mexico. The alleged seizures resulted in the arrests of two Mexican nationals and seizure of more than $2.6 million in drugs.

The first seizure took place when CBP officers assigned to the Port of Nogales Mariposa commercial lane contacted a 35-year-old Mexican national driving a tractor-trailer as he attempted to cross into the United States from Nogales, Sonora. Officers sent the driver to a secondary inspection area where a K-9 detection team began a search of the contents of the trailer. The K-9 alerted to the presence of a scent it has been trained to detect leading CBP officers to discover 190 bundles of marijuana concealed within a shipment of charcoal. The weight of the marijuana registered at more than 2,900 pounds with a value of approximately $1.5 million.

The second incident took place when CBP officers assigned to the same commercial facility contacted a 48-year-old Mexican national as he attempted to enter the U.S. in a tractor-trailer from Mexico. Officers referred the driver to a secondary inspection station where a closer examination of the empty trailer could be conducted. CBP officers deployed a K-9 team inside the trailer. The dog alerted to the possible presence of drugs which it has been trained to detect, according to CBP officials. A subsequent search utilizing the CBP K-9 produced more than 300 packages containing a substance believed to be methamphetamine concealed within the floor compartment of the trailer. The total weight of the methamphetamine came out to 360 pounds with an estimated value of $1.1 million.

The 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 official ports of entry, according to a media statement released by Customs and Border Protection media relations section.

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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