Border Patrol agents near Nogales, Ariz. seized more than 5,000 pounds of marijuana in two separate incidents Friday at the Interstate 19 checkpoint.
Agents from the Nogales station working the Interstate 19 checkpoint Friday seized the bulk of marijuana in a single load after a Border Patrol canine team alerted to a tractor-trailer truck at the primary inspection.
Agents referred the truck for a secondary inspection and using a Non-Intrusive Inspection system (NII) discovered an anomaly not consistent with the truck’s cargo. Upon further inspection, agents found 5,061 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of $4 million stashed among produce in the trailer. The driver, truck and marijuana were taken to the Nogales station for processing.
Another load, slightly more than 108 pounds, was discovered hidden in a pick-up truck after another Border Patrol canine team alerted to the vehicle. Agents inspected the vehicle using the NII and found marijuana hidden in multiple compartments within the truck’s interior. The value of the marijuana is estimated to be more than $86,000.
“These seizures are proof that our agents will continue to remain vigilant as we continue to foil smugglers’ attempts to bring contraband into the United States,” said the Nogales Station’s Patrol Agent in Charge Alan White. “The Border Patrol continues to use the right mix of technology and personnel to strengthen our ‘Defense in Depth’ strategy for combating the flow of contraband into the interior.”
Since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2010 (October through February), the Tucson Sector has seized more than 460,000 pounds of marijuana. Technology, such as high-tech scanning equipment and canines at the checkpoints has proven to be invaluable assets in the Border Patrol strategy.