$4 Million of pot, 15,000 rounds of ammunition seized at border

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

NOGALES, Ariz. – Border agents seized more than $4 million worth of marijuana and prevented 15,000 rounds of ammunition from being smuggled into Mexico.

A total of three people were taken into custody following the foiled smuggling attempts at the Nogales Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers sent a tractor trailer carrying a shipment of charcoal to secondary inspection on Monday night.

Agents found 342 bales of pot hidden inside the sacks of charcoal during an X-ray and physical inspection of the shipment. The marijuana weighed more than 4,017 pounds and had an estimated value of more than $2 million.

The driver, a 47-year-old man from Guasave, Sinaloa, was arrested and turned over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.

“This is why our officers are here and are ready to deal with whatever comes their way,” Port Director Guadalupe Ramirez said. “We want to hit these criminal organizations on both sides by catching the drugs coming in and the ammunition going out.”

A half hour after the marijuana seizure, agents selected another commercial vehicle for secondary inspection that also had a load of charcoal. Agents found 300 bales of pot hidden inside bags within the charcoal load. The marijuana weighed more than 4,243 pounds and had an estimated value of more than $2.1 million.

A 33-year-old man from Nogales, Mexico, was taken into custody.

On Tuesday just before 3 p.m., agents sent a 1995 Ford truck driven by a 42-year-old man from Nogales, Mexico, to secondary inspection.

Officers found more than 15,000 rounds of ammunition hidden in the spare tire and gas tank of the truck. The driver was arrested.