MCSO smuggling crackdown nets $4M in drugs, 38 arrests

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX – Sheriff Joe Arpaio's month-long crackdown on smuggling turned up cash, drugs, stolen vehicles and human remains.

Arpaio launched "Operation Borderline" on Oct. 1. He used deputies, volunteer posse members and aircraft to round up drugs and smugglers.

Arpaio said his office arrested 38 people for alleged drug trafficking and seized more than 2.5 tons of marijuana, 26 pounds of methamphetamine and nearly 11 pounds of heroin. The street value of all drugs seized was approximately $4 million.

MCSO also seized over $147,000 cash and six vehicles.

During the operation, the remains of two people were found partially buried in the desert outside of Phoenix.

Arpaio said "Operation Borderline" underscores the need for a stepped-up law enforcement pursuit of these drug traffickers.

"Obviously the need exists for a continuous law enforcement emphasis using all the necessary equipment to track and arrest these drug traffickers as well as local drug dealers," Arpaio said in a news release. "This October operation marks the beginning of a far more concerted effort by my office to fight drug traffic and drug abuse."

The sheriff has established a new hotline number, 602-262-3784, to receive tips from the public relating to illegal drug activity.