TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Arizona’s Port of Nogales arrested three people in separate failed attempts to smuggle cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine into the United States over the weekend.
CBP officers at the Mariposa Crossing referred a 28-year-old legal, permanent U.S. resident from Mexico for further inspection of his Chrysler sedan last Friday afternoon. A CBP narcotics detection canine alerted to a scent it is trained to detect within the vehicle’s dash area. Officers removed two packages of drugs, identified as nearly five pounds of cocaine, worth more than $119,000.
Sunday afternoon, officers at the Dennis DeConcini Crossing referred a 21-year-old Cajeme, Sonora, Mexico, resident for a further search of her Ford truck. Following a positive alert by a CBP canine to the truck’s heater coil, officers removed nearly 11 pounds of meth, worth nearly $33,000.
A short time later, officers at the Morley Pedestrian Gate referred a 16-year-old U.S. teen for further questioning. When the teen was searched, officers discovered a package taped to his back. The contents were determined to be more than a pound of heroin, with an estimated value of more than $28,000.
Officers seized the drugs and vehicles, two of the subjects were arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. The juvenile was arrested and turned over to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.
Federal law allows officers to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows for filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
CBP’s Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation’s food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.