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CBP: $530K in marijuana found in empty semi-trailer
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CBP: $530K in marijuana found in empty semi-trailer

Two U.S. citizens arrested for human smuggling at I-19 checkpoint

  • A Customs and Border Protection officer holds a foil-wrapped package of marijuana, one of 1,600 found hidden in an empty semi-trailer at the Mariposa Commercial port of entry on Thursday
    CBPA Customs and Border Protection officer holds a foil-wrapped package of marijuana, one of 1,600 found hidden in an empty semi-trailer at the Mariposa Commercial port of entry on Thursday

A semi-truck driver was arrested Thursday by Customs and Border Protection officers in Nogales after they found more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $530,000, hidden in the trailer, authorities said. 

Officers at the Mariposa Commercial Facility arrested Mexican national, Raul Alan Romero-Garcia, 24, from Sonora, after a drug dog led officers to 1,600 foil packages of marijuana hidden in the wall rails of the trailer, CBP said in a news release. 

Officers seized the drugs and the otherwise empty semi-trailer and handed Romero-Garcia over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. 

The same day, Border Patrol agents arrested two U.S. citizens for attempting to smuggle five Mexican nationals through the I-19 checkpoint in back-to-back incidents, the agency said. 

Around 7:45 a.m., agents opened the trunk of an Acura TL and found three adults in the trunk, all undocumented Mexican nationals. 

A half-hour later, a dog led agents to open the trunk of Lincoln LS to find two more undocumented immigrants. 

"Smuggling people inside vehicle trunks is extremely dangerous," the agency said. Smugglers "have no regard for human life and will use any means of smuggling to avoid detection and gain a profit." 

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