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Customs officers pull in 843 lbs. of pot in weekend hauls

Customs and Border Protection officers arrested two U.S. citizens and two Mexican nationals for their role in alleged drug smuggling attempts over the weekend at three of Arizona's ports of entry, hauling in a combined 843 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $421,000, according to releases from the agency.

On Friday, officers at the crossing in Naco arrested Francisco Norberto Quilihua, 46, from Hereford after an inspection uncovered 155 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $77,000 hidden under the rear seat and in the side quarter panels of his Chevrolet truck, the agency said.

On Saturday, Douglas port of entry officers arrested local resident Juliana Yamilet Campo, 22, when officers discovered 276 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $138,000 concealed throughout her Volkswagen sedan. Packages were hidden in the tires, the rear bumper and in the trunk liner, a release from the agency said.

In Nogales, officers thwarted two smuggling attempts over the weekend.

On Saturday, officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing sent a Dodge truck to secondary inspection after a dog alerted to the presence of drugs. Officers arrested Juan Manuel Valdez-Aranda, 45, when they found 99 pounds of marijuana hidden in all four of the truck's tires worth an estimated $50,000, a CBP release said.

On Sunday, Carlos Ramces Romo-Garcia, 26, was arrested under similar circumstances.

As Romo-Garcia attempted to drive a Dodge truck through the crossing, a dog signaled that drugs were present. Officers found 313 pounds of marijuana worth more than $156,000 hidden in the bed of the truck. The agency said that the 38 packages were tucked into a "non-factory compartment."

All four people were arrested for smuggling and handed over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. The vehicles and marijuana were seized by the agency.

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Customs and Border Protection

A special metal boot made to hold marijuana was found inside the tires of a Dodge truck during a smuggling attempt on Saturday at the Nogales Port of Entry. The seizure netted 99 pounds of marijuana worth around $50,000.