YUMA: United States customs and Border Patrol agents seized nearly 1,800 pounds of marijuana in Yuma sector worth an estimated $899,000.
Wellton Station agents noticed a suspicious utility truck traveling through Dome Valley along a route generally used for farming vehicles and equipment. However, smugglers are also known to use the route to circumvent a Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 8 by disguising their vehicles to look like they belong in the farming industry.
Agents stopped the vehicle and, after obtaining consent to search the truck, found 1,087 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $543,500, in the truck’s tool-storage area.
Blythe Station agents assigned to the Highway 78 checkpoint near Palo Verde arrested a man attempting to smuggle 248 pounds of marijuana in a pickup truck. Subsequent to a canine alert, agents searched the truck and found six bundles of marijuana in a false compartment constructed inside an auxiliary gas tank, located in the bed of the truck. The marijuana is worth an estimated $124,000.
Agents tracking suspected smugglers, with assistance from an Office of Air and Marine Yuma Air Branch aircrew, found five abandoned makeshift backpacks of marijuana near Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge. The marijuana, valued at approximately $100,000, weighed approximately 200 pounds. Agents searched the immediate area and located three individuals hiding in brush. All admitted to entering the U.S. illegally.
Wellton Station agents responded to an area where seven individuals were observed walking north through the desert. When agents arrived at the scene, they found the subjects with five makeshift backpacks of marijuana. All admitted to entering the U.S. illegally. The marijuana weighed a total of 263 pounds and is valued at an estimated $131,500.
All subjects, drugs and vehicles involved were processed in accordance with Yuma Sector guidelines.
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 the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.