Border agents find bundles of marijuana in abandoned vehicle in S. Arizona

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. -- U.S. Border Patrol agents seized more than 3,300 pounds of marijuana from an abandoned vehicle hidden in brush in southern Arizona.

On Monday morning, agents from the Casa Grande Station were responding to suspected illegal activity in the area south of the Federal Route 15 checkpoint when they spotted vehicle tracks leading off road.

Agents discovered a vehicle hidden under a tarp and some brush. Agency spokeswoman Colleen Agle said numerous bundles of marijuana were concealed throughout the vehicle.

The approximate value of the marijuana exceeded $2.7 million.

The vehicle and marijuana were seized and transported back to the station for processing.

"Checkpoints, part of the Border Patrol's defense-in-depth strategy, are designed to deny smugglers routes of egress from the border," said Manuel Mendoza, assistant patrol agent in charge of the Casa Grande Station. "They also allow the Border Patrol to establish a presence in strategic areas to further degrade the smugglers' ability to bring contraband into the U.S."

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