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Agents at checkpoints nab marijuana, arrest 12

Border Patrol agents at three checkpoints in Southern Arizona arrested 12, including four U.S. citizens, and seized 740 pounds of marijuana this week, authorities said. Eight people were discovered in vehicles, hidden there by human smugglers.

On Wednesday, Border Patrol agents assigned to the checkpoint on Highway 83 near Sonoita arrested a man, identified only as a U.S. citizen, after they found four Mexican men crammed in the trunk of his 2004 Kia Rio, said Rob Daniels, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

That same day, Border Patrol agents from the Nogales station arrested a woman, also identified only as a U.S. citizen, at the I-19 checkpoint after they found two Mexican men locked in the trunk of her 2003 Hyundai sedan. 

On State Route 90, Border Patrol agents from the Willcox station watched as a Ford sedan approached the checkpoint and then "turned abruptly" and entered a nearby gas station. As an agent approached the vehicle, the driver accelerated away and ran over the curb, then fled on foot. 

The agent tried to search the car, but the driver had locked the door and taken the keys, said Daniels. 

Agents used a dog to sniff around the vehicle and the canine alerted to the trunk. Believing that someone was inside the agents smashed a window and used the release to open the hatch, where they found two men, one from Mexico and the other from Honduras, locked inside. 

Neither man knew they could open the trunk from the inside, the agents said. 

On Friday, agents from the Tucson Station arrested two U.S. citizens after a drug dog led them to find 31 bundles of marijuana stashed in a hidden compartment in the front of a horse trailer they were pulling with a white Ford truck. 

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As agents arrested the driver, the passenger jumped out of the truck and fled on foot. Agents from the Special Operation Detachment responded and immediately located him, said Daniels. 

The marijuana weighed approximately 740 pounds and was estimated to be worth around $370,000, said Daniels.

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