WASHINGTON: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Arizona’s Port of Lukeville arrested two U.S. citizens July 4 for attempting to smuggle a combined 190 pounds of marijuana during separate incidents. Officers first referred a 45-year-old Casa Grande woman, traveling with a 53-year-old male passenger, for a secondary inspection of her Buick sedan. During the inspection, a CBP narcotics-detection canine helped officers locate multiple marijuana bundles, weighing almost 50 pounds and worth close to $25,000. A few hours later, officers selected a 68-year-old man from Peoria, Arizona for further inspection of his Chevy truck and discovered nearly 142 pounds of marijuana, worth approximately $71,000, within the truck’s toolbox.
Officers seized the drugs and vehicles, and turned the suspects over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. Federal law allows officers to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the 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.