AUGUST 26, 2015

Nogales CBP Officers seize $598K in hard drugs
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Customs and Border Protection officers took four male Mexican nationals into custody during separate incidents earlier this week for alleged attempts to smuggle a combined 55 pounds of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin through the Port of Nogales.

Officers at the Mariposa crossing first arrested Noe Fernando Renteria-Rodriguez, 34, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, after a CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to the Ford truck he was driving on Aug. 17. During a secondary search of the vehicle, officers found more than eight pounds of methamphetamine valued in excess of $24,000.

On Aug. 18, officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing arrested Luciano Ismael Haro-Gutierrez, 32, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, after a CBP canine alerted to a rear quarter panel of his Jeep SUV. Inside, officers found more than 13 pounds of cocaine exceeding $138,000 in value.

Officers at the Mariposa crossing arrested Antonio Delgado-Nunez, 52, of Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico, after a CBP canine alerted to more than nine pounds of cocaine, exceeding $98,000 in value, within the vehicle’s seats.

A short time later at the Mariposa crossing, officers arrested Francisco Verdugo-Martinez, 25, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, after a search of his Ford SUV led to the discovery of nearly 24 pounds of heroin. The drugs, hidden inside of the vehicle’s roof, are valued at nearly $338,000.

Officers seized all drugs and vehicles, and referred all subjects to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Federal law allows officers to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

CBP's Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.

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