Yuma, Arizona - Border Patrol agents with night vision goggles spotted seven people with backpacks walking through the desert near Sentinel, yesterday morning. They requested air support, while pursuing the suspected drug mules.

Pilots from Air and Marine Operations, Yuma Air Branch, observed the individuals placing backpacks next to a tree, and then continued walking north toward Interstate 8. AMO pilots guided agents to the tree, where they found backpacks loaded with more than 300 pounds of marijuana. AMO then led agents to the seven suspects hiding in brush, one hundred yards north of the area. Agents determined that the seven were illegally present in the U.S.

The estimated value of the drugs was over $155,000.

All of the illegal aliens and the drugs will be processed per Yuma Sector guidelines.

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.