CBP seizes $500K in drugs

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By Sarah Blais By Sarah Blais
By Sarah Blais By Sarah Blais
By Sarah Blais By Sarah Blais
By Sarah Blais By Sarah Blais
By Sarah Blais By Sarah Blais

NOGALES, Ariz. -- It was a busy weekend for Customs and Border Protection officers, who seized nearly half a million dollars in illegal drugs.

On Friday, CPB officers in Nogales and San Luis found $340,000 of drugs in two separate incidents. Narcotics detection dogs found 18 pounds of cocaine in Rio Rico resident Rico Heriberto's car radiator, and 11 packages of meth in Juan Ramon Luna's rocker panels.

In Nogales on Saturday, officers found 40 pounds of cocaine in Phoenix resident Benny Sarmiento's gas tank. The next day, in an unrelated incident, 4 pounds of heroin valued at $59,000 were discovered in 21-year-old Rio Rico resident, Alexis Aguilar's suitcase.

At the Columbus port in New Mexico Monday, 177 pounds of marijuana fit into 16 bundles were seized from Mexico resident Arnoldo Gonzales' truck tires.

"Smugglers went to considerable lengths to conceal this drug load," said Columbus Port Director Robert Reza. "They fabricated metal collars which were filled with tightly compressed marijuana and then attached to the rims of the vehicle being driven across the border."

Officials say the drugs were worth about $141,000.