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241 arrested in operation to fight drug smuggling
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241 arrested in operation to fight drug smuggling

Marijuana, weapons and vehicles seized in multi-agency busts

  • Marijuana and a vehicle were seized from smugglers west of the Marana area during ACTT's Operation Silver Bell.
    U.S. Customs and Border ProtectionMarijuana and a vehicle were seized from smugglers west of the Marana area during ACTT's Operation Silver Bell.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • An AK-47 assault rifle, ammunition and radios were seized south of Stanfield.
    U.S. Customs and Border ProtectionAn AK-47 assault rifle, ammunition and radios were seized south of Stanfield.
  • A pickup truck transporting marijuana bundles was seized near the Ironwood Forest National Monument.
    U.S. Customs and Border ProtectionA pickup truck transporting marijuana bundles was seized near the Ironwood Forest National Monument.

A multi-agency, 14-day operation to combat drug smuggling resulted in 241 arrests and the seizures of nearly 2 tons of marijuana, weapons and vehicles, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Monday.

Operation Silver Bell, which began Jan. 29 and ended Saturday, focused on drug trafficking in the Silver Bell and Sawtooth mountains west of Interstate 10, the Border Patrol said.

The Alliance to Combat Transactional Threats (ACTT) operation netted 241 arrests, and the seizures of 3,977 pounds of marijuana, five weapons and 19 vehicles, the Border Patrol said.

The Border Patrol would not say specifically what charges were involved in the arrests, only that crimes could have ranged from suspended licenses, to immigration violations and drug smuggling.

The agencies participating with the Border Patrol were the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Pima County Sheriff's Department, ICE, and the Oro Valley, Marana, Gila River and Eloy police departments.

“Each agency brings added value to the table. Everyone has a different skill set and by working together we get the benefit of all of them,” said Jon Young, atate chief ranger of the Bureau of Land Management, in a press release.

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