Over 429 pounds of marijuana seized after 9 smugglers captured near Tucson

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Agents rappelled down to capture the nine smugglers with more than 429 pounds of marijuana in their backpacks. (Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection) Agents rappelled down to capture the nine smugglers with more than 429 pounds of marijuana in their backpacks. (Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
TUCSON, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Cooperation between the Tucson Air and Marine Operations Branch (AMO) and Tucson Sector United States Border Patrol (USBP) ended with more than 429 pounds seized and nine smugglers arrested near Three Points Tuesday morning.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protections, agents from AMO Tucson Air Branch and Tucson Sector USBP Special Operation Detachment (SOD) responded on a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter to a report of possible smuggling activity in rugged terrain north of Three Points.

Upon arrival, the SOD agents discovered several individuals with large packs and proceeded to arrest the nine smugglers.

Nearly $215,000 worth of marijuana was found inside of their backpacks.

The marijuana was seized and the smugglers, who were in the U.S. illegally, were arrested and referred for prosecution of narcotics smuggling and immigration violations, said CBP.

“This is a good example of how Air and Marine Operations is ready to assist its partner law enforcement agencies when the need arises. It shows how we serve Customs and Border Protection and, more importantly, the public,” said Tucson Air Branch Director Mitch Pribble in a news release. “I am proud of the work our crews did yesterday.”

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