january 13, 2016

CBP Officers seize $2.4M in drugs since Christmas

TUCSON, Arizona – Customs and Border Protection officers arrested four U.S. citizens and two Mexican nationals for alleged attempts to smuggle almost 3,400 pounds of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine through the Port of Nogales.

Officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing referred Billy Morgan, 28, of Inglewood, California, for further inspection of his Ford Mustang on Jan. 3. A CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs that turned out to be nearly 29 pounds of meth worth approximately $86,000.

Earlier that day, officers at the DeConcini crossing referred Alexandra Renee Cox, 18, of Casa Grande, Arizona, for further inspection of her Buick sedan. After a CBP canine alerted to the presence of drugs behind the vehicle’s rear bumper, officers found nearly 6.5 pounds of meth worth close to $19,000.

On Jan. 2, officers at the Mariposa Cargo Facility referred a tractor-trailer, driven by Allan Raul Hernandez-Herrera, 22, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, for further inspection of a shipment of wooden furniture. A canine team then led officers to the discovery of more than 3,300 pounds of marijuana worth about $1.65 million.

On New Year’s Eve, officers at the DeConcini crossing referred a Mitsubishi SUV for further inspection and, using a canine team, found more than 44 pounds of cocaine worth in excess of $465,000 and more than five pounds of meth valued in excess of $15,000. Officers arrested the driver, Jacob Richard Mendez, 34, of Phoenix, and his passenger, Carolina Enriquez-Amaro, 32, a legal permanent resident alien also living in Phoenix.

On Dec. 29, officers at the DeConcini crossing were checking vehicles when a canine team alerted to a Saturn SUV driven by Janiel Eduardo DeLaCruz, 18, of Nogales, Arizona. Officers searched the vehicle and found almost nine pounds of meth, worth approximately $26,000, and more than 3.6 pounds of cocaine valued at close to $38,000, all in the spare tire.

CBP officers seized all drugs and turned the suspects over 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.