CBP: $2.8M in marijuana found abandoned in desert

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Authorities recently seized about $2.8 million worth of marijuana from abandoned vehicles in the desert west of Tucson, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the West Desert Task Force worked with the Office of Air and Marine to intercept more than 5,600 pounds of marijuana.

Agents discovered more than 1,900 pounds of pot valued in excess of $967,000 in an abandoned Dodge Ram pickup truck near Ventana on Oct. 21. The truck, reported stolen out of Phoenix, was turned over to Tohono O'odham Police Department.

Agents found another 1,900 pounds of pot in an abandoned Ford F-250 pickup truck south of Arizona City Saturday morning after a suspicious vehicle was reported by an operator using detection technology.

Later that afternoon, agents received a report of a vehicle suspected of smuggling narcotics near Gu Vo.

A ground search of the area yielded more than 1,800 pounds of pot worth nearly $923,000 in the bed of an abandoned Ford pickup truck. The truck, also reported stolen out of Phoenix, was handed over to tribal police.

The smugglers have not been located, according to CBP.

The West Desert Task Force is a joint initiative between the U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and the Pinal County Sheriff's Office. The agencies work to combat narcotics trafficking in Arizona's west desert region.