Border patrol seizes 801 lbs. of pot, arrests 12 alleged smugglers

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

WELLTON, Ariz. -- Yuma Border Patrol agents seized 801 pounds of marijuana and arrested a dozen alleged drug smugglers from Wednesday to Thursday morning, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Border authorities say the marijuana is worth about $400,000.

Agents from the Wellton station were patrolling southwest of Gila Bend on Wednesday when they discovered four Mexican nationals allegedly carrying 512 pounds of marijuana.

Thursday morning, agents arrested another eight Mexican nationals near the Paloma Farm exit on Interstate 8. They are accused of backpacking 289 pounds of marijuana across the border.

Border authorities say the alleged smugglers entered the United States illegally by crossing the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge, which are commonly used drug smuggling routes.

The marijuana and 12 individuals were turned over to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, border authorities said.

Anyone who observes suspicious activity near the border is asked to contact U.S. Customs and Border Protection toll free at 1-866-999-8727. Callers can remain anonymous.