$1 Million in Meth, Fentanyl Seized Along Southwest Border

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 421 pounds of methamphetamine cumulatively worth $1.7 million during multiple vehicle inspections in Arizona and California over the past week.

The first series of seizures occurred this past Saturday morning when officers working the Mariposa Crossing in Nogales, Arizona, made contact with a 27-year-old male in a Nissan sedan from Hermosillo, Sonora. CBP officers discovered nearly 50 packages in the rear quarter panels and spare tire, containing 49 pounds of meth valued at $148,000. Officers also found nearly one pound of fentanyl pills worth more than $11,000.

On Saturday evening, officers working the Port of San Luis in San Luis, Arizona, contacted a 24-year-old local woman driving a Ford SUV. K-9 officers found more than 100 packages containing methamphetamine concealed within the doors and rocker panels. The total weight came to more than 111 pounds ($334,000).

On Saturday night at the I-19 immigration checkpoint near Tubac, Arizona, officers contacted a Phoenix woman driving a 2016 Nissan Altima. A K-9 alerted to 80 packages containing approximately 98 pounds of methamphetamine concealed within the door panels. The total value was estimated at $294,000.

On Tuesday morning, officers working the Dennis DeConcini Crossing in Nogales, Arizona, contacted a 29-year-old male from Mexico driving a Nissan sedan. A K-9 led to concealed panels which contained 51 pounds of methamphetamine worth $152,000.

On Tuesday afternoon, officers working the Andrade Port of Entry in Winterhaven, California, contacted a 41-year-old female from Scottsdale, Arizona, driving a 2017 Dodge Ram. Officers found 153 packages of methamphetamine concealed within a spare tire and gas tank. The total weight came to 112 pounds with an approximate street value of $179,000.

Officers seized all the drugs and vehicles involved. All subjects were arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations for determination of criminal charges.

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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