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More stuffed peppers: More than $1.5M in marijuana seized in Nogales

Officers at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales seized nearly 3,000 pounds of marijuana worth more than $1.5 million and arrested three U.S. citizens in separate smuggling incidents over the last week, according to a release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

On Saturday, Customs officers at the Mariposa Commercial facility arrested Xavier Armando Bautista-Borboa, 38, from Nogales, Son., after a dog alerted to the presence of drugs. Officers inspected a tractor-trailer and discovered 2,700 pounds of marijuana, worth nearly $1.4 million, mingled in a load of boxes of green bell peppers. 

This is the second time that CBP officers have found marijuana stashed in a load of green peppers. In March, officers discovered a bell pepper load stuffed with 2,476 pounds of marijuana worth $1.2 million 

On Sunday, officers arrested Margarita Martinez, 49, of Tucson when a drug dog alerted to her Ford sedan. Officers inspected the car and found 127 pounds of marijuana worth around $64,000, the agency said. 

Later that day, officers arrested a Southern Californian pair after a dog led officers to discover 168 pounds of marijuana worth more than $84,000 in their Ford SUV. 

The drugs and the vehicles were seized, and the subjects were handed over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. 

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Officers at a Nogales border crossing seized 2,700 pounds of marijuana hidden in a load of green peppers Saturday.