Yuma, Arizona - Over a four-day period beginning Monday, drug seizures increased significantly at and around immigration checkpoints in Yuma Sector. More than 100 pounds of narcotics, with an estimated value of more than one million dollars were seized during that period.
On Monday night, June 13, Border Patrol agents arrested a male Mexican national illegally in the U.S., during a traffic stop near Wikieup. Agents discovered and seized nearly 10 pounds of methamphetamine, with an estimated value of more than $29,000.
On Tuesday morning, a Legal Permanent Resident attempted to drive through the immigration checkpoint on Interstate 8, east of Yuma. A canine alert resulted in the vehicle being sent to secondary inspection, where nearly 17 pounds of methamphetamine was discovered. The drugs were valued in excess of $50,000.
On Wednesday morning, agents detected the odor of marijuana coming from a vehicle at the Highway 95 immigration checkpoint, and called for a canine team. The canine alerted to the vehicle, and it was referred to secondary inspection. A search resulted in the seizure of nearly eight pounds of pure brown heroin, with a value estimated at more than $137,000.
A second seizure on Wednesday occurred after a vehicle was observed circumventing the checkpoint by passing through Dome Valley. A canine team conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle and the canine alerted, resulting in the seizure of more than six pounds of methamphetamine. The meth had an estimated value of more than $19,000.
Today, a Yuma Sector canine alerted to a vehicle driven a by a U.S. citizen attempting to pass through the Highway 95 checkpoint, resulting in the seizure of nearly 70 pounds of cocaine, worth an estimated $790,000.
“These significant drug seizures illustrate the continued threat posed by smugglers attempting to bring illegal drugs into our country,” said Acting Chief Patrol Agent Mario Villarreal. “Due to the continued vigilance of Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents, these narcotics were removed from our community and the streets of our great Nation.”
Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless or until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents effectively combat smuggling organizations attempting to illegally transport people and contraband through southwestern Arizona and California. Citizens can help the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling 1-866-999-8727 toll-free to report suspicious activity. Callers can remain anonymous.