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Border Patrol: $1.1M in drugs seized, 24 arrested for smuggling near Yuma

Over just four days, Border Patrol agents near Yuma arrested 24 people, all but one for attempting to smuggle marijuana through the desert, and seized more than $1.1 million in drugs.

On Thursday, agents assigned to Camp Grip, a forward operating base in the desert southeast of Yuma, intercepted a group of 11 men carrying 424 pounds of marijuana, said U.S. Customs and Border Protection in a news release. 

The agency estimated the value of the marijuana of $212,000. 

That same day, agents at the Wellton Station checkpoint on Interstate 8 arrested the driver of a sedan after a drug dog led agents to 14 pounds of methamphetamine, worth almost $69,000, hidden in the rear bumper. 

The next day, agents patrolling in the desert arrested five men and seized 469 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $234,500. 

On Saturday, smugglers attempted to ford a shallow point of the Colorado River, but hung up their white Jeep Cherokee just above the river bank. 

As agents closed in, six men abandoned the vehicle by running back to Mexico, the agency said. 

Inside, agents found containing 719 pounds of marijuana, worth around $359,500. 

That afternoon, a helicopter crew with the Air and Marine Operation's Yuma branch, spotted two abandoned bundles of marijuana. The bundles weighed around 45 pounds and contained an estimated $22,500 worth of marijuana, the agency said. 

On Sunday, agents from Camp Grip came across an abandoned ATV loaded with 247 pounds of marijuana, worth $123,500. 

Agents also intercepted another group, arresting seven men who were attempted to smuggle 178 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $89,000. 

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An ATV loaded with 247 pounds of marijuana worth more than $123,000 found abandoned in the desert Sunday by a helicopter crew.