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Arizona Borders: Marijuana and Hard Drugs Seized, Several Arrested Featured

By US Customs & Border Protection January 20, 2016 428

Over $1M worth of marijuana and hard drugs seized, aliens with criminal histories arrested. 

Douglas CBP Officers Seize $135K in Marijuana

TUCSON, Ariz. – Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of Douglas (Raul Hector Castro POE) arrested a Phoenix man and a Mexican national during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend for separate alleged attempts to smuggle more than 270 pounds of marijuana worth a combined $135,000.

Officers arrested Mark Anthony Torrez, 25, on Jan. 16 after an inspection of his Ford SUV led to the discovery of more than 58 pounds of marijuana, valued in excess of $29,000, in the vehicle’s gas tank.

The following day, officers arrested Alvaro Ivan Fierro-Sanchez, 33, of Cananea, Sonora, Mexico, after an inspection of his Jeep SUV led to the discovery of more than 212 pounds of marijuana worth just more than $106,000.

Officers seized the drugs and vehicles, and turned both subjects over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Marijuana in gas tank.

San Luis CBP Officers Seize More Than $900K in Hard Drugs

TUCSON, Ariz. – Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of San Luis arrested four individuals for alleged separate attempts to smuggle heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine during the holiday weekend. 

Officers referred Adrian Ochoa, 30, of El Golfo Santa Clara, Baja California, Mexico, for further inspection of his Mercedes sedan on Jan. 15. After a CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs within the vehicle’s intake manifold, officers found more than seven pounds of cocaine, worth nearly $75,000, and nearly six pounds of heroin valued at almost $82,000.

On Jan. 16, officers referred Wendy Marisol Flores-Cortes, 20, of San Luis, Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico, for additional inspection of her Volkswagen sedan. A narcotics-canine’s alert helped officers locate almost 34 pounds of meth worth nearly $101,000.

Officers referred Karely Garcia-Alvarez, 26, of Phoenix, for a secondary inspection of her Mini-Cooper on Jan. 17 and found nearly 52 pounds of meth, worth more than $155,000.

Earlier that morning, officers referred Erik Beltran, 34, of San Luis, Arizona, for a closer inspection of his Nissan sedan and located nearly 47 pounds of cocaine, worth close to $489,000.

Officers seized all drugs and vehicles, and turned the suspects over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Officers discovered a combination of cocaine/heroin within the intake manifold of a smuggling vehicle.

18 Aliens Arrested, Some with Significant Criminal Histories

YUMA, Ariz. – Border Patrol agents, assisted by aviation crews from Air and Marine Operations, Yuma Air Branch, arrested 18 people and seized more than 430 pounds of marijuana during multiple holiday-weekend incidents.

AMO pilots assisted Border Patrol agents near Tacna by guiding them to the location of four Mexican nationals and a Honduran national after the group illegally entered the United States Jan. 15 with 246 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $123,000.

AMO pilots again assisted agents in Tacna on Jan. 16, directing them to the location of six Mexican nationals illegally in the U.S. It was later confirmed that one of the six had an active, extraditable warrant out of Santa Barbara, California, for a probation violation on a felony DUI with a prior conviction.

On Jan. 17, Border Patrol agents arrested seven Mexican nationals near Gila Bend. The group illegally entered the U.S. transporting 186 pounds of marijuana, valued at $93,000. Two of the arrested aliens were previously deported and have histories of manufacturing and distributing a controlled substance; assault; injuring a child with intent; theft; rape; lewd and lascivious acts with a child; and carrying a concealed weapon.

All individuals and drugs will be processed per Yuma Sector guidelines.

CBP Officers Arrest Man on Outstanding Homicide Warrant

LUKEVILLE, Ariz. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Field Operations officers arrested a male U.S. citizen returning from Mexico Saturday after learning he has an outstanding warrant for homicide out of Collin County, Texas.

The man failed to present proper identification at the port of entry, claiming he has been living in Mexico for five years and his documents were stolen. Officers referred the man for secondary inspection to confirm his identity and citizenship.

A background and fingerprint check revealed the man’s identity as 36-year-old David Ruiz; wanted in Texas for homicide. Officers arrested Ruiz and turned him over to the Pima County Sheriff’s office for extradition.  

“Fugitives can only run so long before vigilance and law-enforcement technology catches up to them,” said Port of Lukeville Chief of Staff Garret Reinhart. “CBP officers work closely with local, state, and other federal law enforcement partners to ensure wanted fugitives face justice. Thanks to our frontline officers, this fugitive will answer to the Texas legal system.”

 

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