Nearly 4,600 pounds of marijuana seized in Southern Arizona

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Agents found 983 pounds of marijuana in scrub brush near Sonoita, Ariz. By Jennifer Thomas Agents found 983 pounds of marijuana in scrub brush near Sonoita, Ariz. By Jennifer Thomas

TUCSON -- Nearly 4,600 pounds of marijuana worth more than $3 million was seized in southern Arizona in less than 48 hours.

On Tuesday, Customs and Border Protection officers on patrol noticed two suspicious vehicles covered with tarps near Stanfield, Ariz., and contacted U.S. Border Patrol agents for support.

The agents discovered two pickup trucks containing a total of 159 bundles of marijuana. The approximately 3,400 pounds of marijuana was valued at more than $2.7 million. Record checks revealed that both vehicles had been reported stolen.

On Wednesday, agents at the Highway 90 checkpoint discovered 200 pounds of marijuana concealed within a compartment of a vehicle. The marijuana, valued at more than $177,000, and the vehicle were seized. The driver was held for prosecution.

Early Thursday, an agent assigned to the Sonoita Station was working with a handheld infrared camera and spotted a group of suspected illegal immigrants. Responding agents discovered 20 bundles of marijuana abandoned in the scrub brush but were unable to locate anyone. The marijuana weighed in at more than 980 pounds and is valued at more than $780,000.

Combined, the marijuana seized by Tucson Sector agents is valued at more than $3.6 million.

From Oct. 1 to May 31, the Tucson Sector Border Patrol seized more than 712,000 pounds of marijuana exceeding $569 million in value.