Border Patrol wrapup
7 suspected smugglers arrested, $1.8M worth of pot seized
Border Patrol agents arrested seven suspected drug smugglers and seized more than $1.8 million worth of marijuana in separate incidents Thursday, U.S Customs and Border Protection said.
Tucson Station canine team discovered nine bundles of abandoned marijuana while on patrol near the Baboquivari Mountains. The marijuana, which weighed 410 pounds and is worth an estimated $205,000, was to be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Casa Grande agents apprehended five Mexican nationals with 11 backpacks of pot that weighed 571 pounds. The suspects face federal charges and the drugs, worth $285,000, were to be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Border Patrol said.
Two suspected smugglers traveling separately tried to flee Nogales Station agents by splitting up and abandoning their vehicles. The agents caught the pair and found 1,985 pounds of marijuana in 82 bundles inside the vehicles, the Border Patrol said.
The suspects were held for federal prosecution and the pot, worth $992,000, was to be turned over to the DEA, the Border Patrol said.
In a fourth incident, Ajo Station agents from the all-terrain unit were assisted by a canine unit to a report of suspected drug smuggling east of the Lukeville Port of Entry.
Agents found 33 bundles of abandoned marijuana that weighed 765 pounds and was valued at $382,500. The drugs were to be turned over to the DEA, the Border Patrol said.
In other Border Patrol activity in the Tucson Sector since Wednesday:
Nogales Station agents apprehended a Mexican man Wednesday after he illegally entered the country. Alfredo Enrique Martinez was convicted in 2004 for lewd lascivious acts against a child. He faces federal prosecution and removal.
Naco Station agents arrested a Mexican man from Guerrero after he illegally entered the United States on Wednesday. During processing, agents discovered the man is affiliated with Los Vatos Locos street gang. He faces federal charges.
On Thursday, Naco Station agents attempted to stop an SUV that was reported stolen out of Phoenix. The driver fled and was pursued by the agents, Cochise County Sheriff's deputies and officers with the Sierra Vista Police Department and Department of Public Safety. Sierra Vista officers were able to stop the vehicle and detain the driver and passengers. Five illegal immigrants were turned over to the Border Patrol. The driver remains in DPS custody to face criminal charges.
Douglas Station agents apprehended a 25-year-old Mexican man Thursday for illegal entry in to the United States. Agents found the man is affiliated with the Sureño street gang and was deported in 2008. He was held for prosecution and removal.
Nogales Station agents apprehended a 27-year-old man from Oaxaca, Mexico, after he illegally entered the United States on Thursday. During processing, he admitted to being a member of Sureño street gang. He faces federal charges.