october 21, 2015

Border report

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Nogales CBP Officers seize $530K in marijuana

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Mariposa Commercial Facility seized $530,000 in marijuana – 1,060 pounds – from a Mexican national Thursday when he attempted to enter the United States through the Port of Nogales.

Officers discovered nearly 1,600 packages of marijuana within the wall rails of a tractor-trailer driven by Raul Alan Romero-Garcia, 24, from Sonora, Mexico, following an alert by a CBP narcotics-detection canine.

Officers seized the drugs and the otherwise empty tractor-trailer. Officers referred Romero to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Back-to-back smuggling attempts stopped

Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate 19 checkpoint near Tubac rescued five illegal migrants from vehicle trunks during two separate smuggling attempts that took place within 30 minutes of each other also on Thursday, on Oct. 15.

The first event occurred at approximately 7:45 a.m. when agents released three adult Mexican nationals from the trunk of an Acura LX. The second event took place 30 minutes later when a Border Patrol agent and his canine partner discovered two Mexican nationals in the trunk of a Lincoln LS. In both incidents, the vehicle trunks were locked with no visible means of escape.

The drivers, both United States citizens, are being prosecuted for smuggling. The five undocumented Mexican nationals and two vehicles will be processed according to Tucson Sector guidelines. There were no injuries reported. 

Smuggling people inside vehicle trunks is extremely dangerous. Profit-driven smugglers have no regard for human life and will use any means of smuggling to avoid detection and gain a profit. 

Checkpoints remain a critical piece of infrastructure, highly effective in halting the flow of contraband and illegal traffic into the United States.   

Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous. 

Nogales CBP Officers stop another body carrier

Customs and Border Protection officers arrested a 26-year-old man from Nogales, Sonora, Mexico for his alleged involvement in an attempt to smuggle $3,100 worth of narcotics through the Port of Nogales on Oct. 10.

Officers at the Morley Pedestrian crossing referred Antemio Rios-Castro for further inspection as he entered the U.S. on foot. After a CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs under his clothing, officers found more than two pounds of methamphetamine wrapped around his legs, from his knees to his ankles.

Wednesday’s seizure comes just days after officers apprehended three body carriers, a 22-year-old male resident of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and two local teen girls, for attempting to smuggle small amounts of meth and marijuana at Nogales ports of entry.

CBP officers seized the drugs and turned Rios over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Man with extraditable warrant for passport fraud arrested

Blythe Station Border Patrol agents arrested a male Mexican national last Tuesday night on Interstate 10, near Ehrenberg, Arizona, and later learned of an extraditable warrant out of San Francisco for his arrest.

The man claimed to be a United States citizen by presenting a driver’s license and birth certificate. However, inconsistent statements and additional records checks revealed a federal warrant under another name and citing passport fraud. The man then admitted to being in the country illegally and having paid someone for the birth certificate. He was also in possession of .25 grams of methamphetamine. 

Agents turned the man over to the State Diplomatic Security Office and will process the drugs per Yuma Sector guidelines.

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents effectively combat smuggling organizations attempting to illegally transport people and contraband through southwestern Arizona and California. Citizens can help the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling 1-866-999-8727 toll-free to report suspicious activity. Callers can remain anonymous.

Sixteen arrested, more than 450 pounds of drugs seized

Wellton Border Patrol agents arrested 16 people and seized 474 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $237,000, during separate incidents over the Columbus Day holiday weekend.

Friday, Oct. 9, eight illegal aliens were arrested south of Interstate 8, near Gila Bend, with 247 pounds of marijuana.

In separate incidents Saturday, Oct. 10, five illegal aliens with 227 pounds of marijuana were arrested. Another three were rescued and treated for minor dehydration near the Border Patrol’s Camp Grip Forward Operating Base after they called 911.  

All subjects and drugs were processed per Yuma Sector guidelines.

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