Border Patrol seizes 2+ tons of drugs, arrests 3 suspected smugglers

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Border Patrol agents assigned to the Tucson Sector have kept more than 2 tons of marijuana worth more than $2.3 million off Arizona’s streets.

Between the Ajo Station and Cases Grande, agents were involved in three separate incidents over the weekend, recovering two vehicles and arresting three suspected drug smugglers.

The first seizure happened Friday night when Ajo Station agents spotted a vehicle driving off-road. By the time a CBP Office of Air & Marine helicopter arrived on the scene, the vehicle, and its load of 143 bundles of marijuana, had been abandoned.

The second seizure, also involving an off-roading vehicle that was later abandoned -- came about 24 hours later. When Horse Patrol Unit agents from Ajo Station arrived on the scene, they discover that vehicle was loaded with 88 bundles of marijuana.

Agents were able to actually arrest alleged smugglers in the third incident. With the help of infrared technology, Casa Grande agents spotted a group of suspected smugglers walking across the desert.

The agents tracked the men, each of whom was carrying a large backpack of marijuana. Agents determined the suspect to be illegal immigrants. After a search of the area, they discovered an additional 112 bundles of marijuana for a total of more than 750 pounds.

The three men are being held for prosecution.

Be it drugs or humans, smuggling contraband is a federal offense. U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it’s common for smugglers to abandon their cargo rather than risk arrest and punishment.