Two teens among smugglers caught with loads of pot

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

WELLTON, Ariz. – Ten suspected smugglers were taken into custody and more than $300,000 in drugs were seized within a five-day period.

Agents with the U.S. Border Patrol assigned to Camp Grid were guided by pilots to a group of 10 individuals crossing illegally into the United States about 15 miles west of Lukeville.

Pilots with Arizona Customs and Border Protection first spotted the group and told agents on the ground how to get to the individuals.

Eight suspected smugglers were taken into custody and two of them fled to Mexico to avoid being arrested.

Agents also found six makeshift backpacks filled with a total of 260 pounds of pot worth approximately $208,000.

The suspects and the drugs were taken to the Wellton Border Patrol Station for processing.

On Thursday border agents also assigned to Camp Grip saw an all-terrain vehicle enter the United States illegally just west of Lukeville.

With the help of pilots from the CBP Office of Air and Marine, agents were able to catch up to the ATV and its two passengers.

Agents say the ATV was carrying two bundles of marijuana with an estimated street value of $132,000. The load reportedly weighed 165 pounds.

One of the alleged smugglers was a juvenile from Mexico. He was taken to the Wellton station for processing along with the ATV.

The second the suspect, an 18-year-old Mexican citizen, was taken into custody by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.