Border busts

Two people were arrested Tuesday in separate incidents at the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry for trying to smuggle about $304,000 worth of marijuana into the United States, a federal official said.

In the first incident, Silvester Padilla Romero, 42, of Tucson, was arrested after a drug dog alerted officers to marijuana hidden in Romero’s Chevrolet truck, said Edith Serrano, a Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman.

More than 545 pounds of marijuana was found in the truck’s back panels, and a toolbox, said Serrano. The marijuana was wrapped in 110 packages, and officers also found 11 loose bundles, she said.  It’s estimated value was nearly $273,000.

In the second incident, Tasha Smith, 29, of Mesa, was arrested after officers found 16 packages of marijuana inside a spare tire in her Dodge SUV, Serrano said. The drugs weighed about 62 pounds and were valued at nearly $31,000, she said.

Both the vehicles and drugs were seized, and Romero and Smith are facing drug smuggling charges, Serrano said.

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