More than $1 million in cocaine seized during border stop

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QUARTZITE - The following is a press release from the U.S. Border Patrol:

U.S. Border Patrol agents seized more than $1 million worth of cocaine near Quartzite, Ariz. Friday afternoon.

At about 4 p.m., agents working the Border Patrol checkpoint on Highway 95 encountered a 2000 GMC Jimmy sport utility vehicle driven by a 19-year-old male. During the checkpoint inspection, a Border Patrol K-9 team detected the presence of contraband.

Agents examined the SUV and discovered a hidden compartment in the rear cargo area that contained several plastic-wrapped bundles of cocaine. The driver of the vehicle was arrested as a result.

The 18 bundles of cocaine weighed nearly 44 pounds and are worth a combined estimated street value of $1.4 million. The driver and the cocaine were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The SUV was seized by the Border Patrol.

Despite recent innovative concealment methods used by drug smugglers, Border Patrol agents maintain a vigilant enforcement posture through enhanced detection capabilities. Border Patrol checkpoints continue to serve as an effective tool against smugglers of humans, narcotics and other contraband. Since October 1, 2008, the Yuma Border Patrol Sector has seized about 119 pounds of cocaine worth more than $3.8 million.