210 Pounds of Fentanyl, Meth Seized at Arizona Border Checkpoints

Fentanyl pills seized in Phoenix. (File Photo: Drug Enforcement Administration)
File Photo: Drug Enforcement Administration

At least 210 pounds of hard drugs like fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin were seized in Nogales, Arizona, over the past week by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The seizures occurred during multiple vehicle inspections worth an estimated total of $1 million.

The first series of seizures occurred last Friday afternoon when officers working the Mariposa Pedestrian Border Crossing came in contact with two females, aged 20 and 22, who were sisters and citizens of Mexico. A CBP K-9 revealed that each had a package concealed internally, containing approximately one pound of fentanyl pills.

On Saturday morning, CBP officers working the Nogales Mariposa Crossing referred a 36-year-old female from Nogales, Sonora, in a Nissan sedan. A K-9 alerted to concealed compartments beneath the seats, which produced multiple packages containing more than 61 pounds of methamphetamine and four pounds of fentanyl.

The next seizure occurred on early Tuesday morning when officers working the Dennis DeConcini Crossing contacted a 21-year-old Mexican male in a Toyota sedan. A K-9 alerted officers to concealed packages within the rocker panels. More than 6 pounds of fentanyl, 9 pounds of cocaine, and 8 pounds of heroin were found.

The final seizure occurred this past Wednesday morning when CBP officers contacted a 40-year-old Phoenix women in a Buick sedan. A CBP K-9 led to the discovery of over 100 packages of methamphetamine hidden throughout the vehicle, weighing a total of 120 pounds.

CBP officers seized all drugs and vehicles involved in the smuggling attempts. Suspects were arrested and turned over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

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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