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Border Patrol seizes $1.7M of marijuana Tuesday

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Border Patrol seizes $1.7M of marijuana Tuesday

  • An abandoned Chevy Suburban found Saturday carried 87 bundles of marijuana worth an estimated $982,000.
    CBPAn abandoned Chevy Suburban found Saturday carried 87 bundles of marijuana worth an estimated $982,000.

In separate incidents northwest of Tucson on Tuesday morning, U.S. Border Patrol agents seized two abandoned trucks that held 3,400 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $1.7 million.

Other recent seizures included $370,000 worth of meth in Nogales, and two seizures totaling $150,000 of marijuana in Douglas.

A Chevy Suburban found Saturday near Arizona City, south of Casa Grande near Interstate 10, carried 87 bundles of marijuana that weighed 1,964 pounds. The load was estimated to be worth $982,000, according to an unsigned news release from the Border Patrol.

Agents from the Casa Grande Station found the truck hidden under a tarp in dense brush, the release said.

A short time later, a Dodge Ram loaded with marijuana was found near Komelik, north of Sells on the Tohono O'odham Nation, when agents responded to reports of a suspected smuggling operation. The truck was also concealed under a tarp in brush, the release said.The truck's load — 61 bundles of marijuana — weighed close to 1,481 pounds and was valued at $740,500.

Both vehicles were found with the help of Customs and Border Protection aircraft, said Crystal Amarilla, a Tucson Sector spokeswoman for CBP.

Both trucks had been already reported stolen, and they were been turned over the Arizona Vehicle Theft Task Force, the release said.

Drug seizures of this size are common in Southern Arizona, Amarilla said.

Smugglers will often have vehicles hidden in the desert that serve as cache points for drugs, and the vehicle will be brought out at later time, Amarilla said.

“[Just because the drugs were found together] it doesn’t necessarily mean that all these bundles were all smuggled at the same time,” she said.

In an unrelated, two U.S. citizens, aged 26 and 29, were arrested Monday at the Port of Nogales as they allegedly tried to smuggle more than 24 pounds of methamphetamine into the country, a CBP release said.

During a secondary inspection at the border crossing, a drug-sniffing dog alerted officers to drugs being stored in the doors of a Ford SUV, the release said.  The methamphetamine was divided into 16 packages and was estimated to be worth $378,000, the release said. 

Over the weekend, two Mexican teens from Agua Prieta were arrested for attempting to smuggle marijuana through the Douglas border crossing.

Saturday, officers referred a 16-year-old male for an additional inspection of the Ford sedan he was driving, a CBP release said.

After a drug-sniffing dog alerted on the vehicle, officers found 74 packages of marijuana, weighing nearly 67 pounds and worth about $33,000, distributed throughout the vehicle, the release said.

A short time later that day, another 16-year-old Mexican male was referred for inspection of a Chevrolet truck, the release said.

Officers searching the vehicle located 15 packages of marijuana throughout the vehicle, with a total weight of nearly 241 pounds and an estimated value of $120,000, the release said.

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