CBP seizes nearly $3.6M in drugs at Arizona ports

CBP seizes nearly $3.6M in drugs at Arizona ports

Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The undercarriage of a drug smuggling vehicle contained more than 230 pounds of marijuana, which were seized by CBP officers at the Port of Douglas.

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by Christina O'Haver

azfamily.com

Posted on May 15, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Updated Monday, May 19 at 4:11 PM

TUCSON, Ariz. -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection said its officers seized nearly $3.6 million in drugs at Arizona ports of entry Wednesday afternoon.

The four drug seizures within a five-hour period included nearly 7,000 pounds of marijuana, 14 pounds of methamphetamine and three pounds of heroin.

CBP said officers at the Mariposa Commercial Facility selected a tractor-trailer driven by a 36-year-old Mexican national for further inspection after a positive alert by a narcotics detection K-9.

The search reportedly revealed 465 packages of marijuana hidden inside a non-factory compartment. CBP said the marijuana weighed about 6,700 pounds and had an estimated value of $3.35 million.

Another 236 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $118,000, were seized at the Port of Douglas after a K-9 alerted to a Saturn.

CBP said the 170 packages of pot were recovered from the bumpers and undercarriage of the car, reportedly driven by 68-year-old Moises Torres-Zamora of Douglas, Ariz.

More than 43 pounds of marijuana were found inside the fuel tank of a Ford truck at the Port of Douglas a few hours later. The pot had an estimated value of $22,000.

CBP said 27-year-old Jesus Fabian Saldate-Vasquez of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico was driving the Ford truck.

In the evening, officers assigned to the DeConcini crossing searched a Nissan sedan and questioned Luis Enriquez Gonzalez-Murillo, 21, of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

CBP said officers found 14 pounds of meth and three pounds of heroin inside the gas tank and rear seats of the Nissan thanks to a drug-sniffing K-9. The meth was estimated at $42,500 and the heroin at $46,500.

"I am very proud of our officers' efforts," Tucson Field Office Director William K. Brooks said in a statement. "The amount of narcotics interdicted in such a short period is a testament to their dedication of keeping our communities safe."

The alleged smugglers were referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.

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