$600K in dope seized near border over weekend

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The following is a press release from US Customs & Border Protection:

Tucson, AZ-The U.S. Border Patrol has long held the title as " America's First Line of Defense", in combating vulnerabilities and threats to America from individuals involved in human and narcotics smuggling; organized crime; or terrorism between the ports of entry. The increased drug-related violence occurring in Nogales, Sonora has made the Border Patrol an "All Threats Agency" being even more vigilant in all actions that occur along the border.

On December 21, 2008, Agents from the Sonoita Border Patrol Station discovered 3 bundles of marijuana abandon in the desert. As agents continued searching for more marijuana in the area, they heard shots fired south of their locations near Lochiel, Ariz. Undetermined if the shots were fired in their direction, agents secured the marijuana. As they approached their vehicles, the agents could hear several unidentified individuals nearby their vehicles. Agents took cover and with the assistance of a CBP helicopter, they cleared the area. All unidentified individuals fled from the scene. The total weight of the marijuana was over 154 pounds with an estimated street value of $123,200.00.

On December 22, 2008, Ajo Agents working on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation were able to track a group of drug smugglers near Papago Farms, Ariz. Agents encountered four subjects and twelve bundles of marijuana. As the agents took the smugglers into custody, one of the smugglers became violent and attacked an agent with a flurry of punches. It took an additional agent to subdue the smuggler. The agents were able to arrest two of the four smugglers. The other two absconded back into Mexico.

The arrestees and the marijuana were transported to the Ajo Border Patrol Station. The total weight of the marijuana was over 700 pounds with an estimated street value of over $560,000.00.

In Fiscal year 2008 the Tucson Sector Border Patrol had seen 261 assaults on agents, that is a 29% increase from fiscal year 2007. In the first two months of fiscal year 2009, Tucson Sector Border Patrol has recorded over 27 assaults on agents.