Canine finds hidden compartment with pot during border stop

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TUCSON - The following is a press release from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

US Border Patrol Agents Tuesday seized more than 578 pounds of marijuana at the Interstate 19 checkpoint near Amado, Ariz.

Yesterday, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate 19 checkpoint encountered a flatbed pick-up occupied by two US citizens.The pick-up was referred to secondary for further inspection after a canine alerted to the vehicle at primary inspection.On the flatbed of the pick-up, agents discovered a stack of plywood that had been hollowed out to create a hidden compartment. Within the compartment, agents located 29 bundles of marijuana. Both the driver and the passenger were arrested and transported to the Nogales Border Patrol station from processing.

The total weight of the marijuana was more than 578 pounds with a street value of over $462,800.00.The pick-up and the marijuana are being held for seizure and will be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case has been referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office for prosecution.An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Defending our borders against terrorists, illegal narcotics, and illegal aliens is priority ONE for the Tucson Sector Border Patrol. Networks of individuals exist who desire to bring chaos and suffering to our nation.Criminal elements are creative, ingenious, and persistent in their efforts to profit from illegal activity. To protect America from this threat we must make use of all our assets and follow our "Defense in Depth" strategy.The use of canines is essential in our strategy which continues to show benefits.