Federal authorities seize $1.38 million in drugs in Nogales

2013-11-04T20:15:00Z 2013-11-04T20:17:58Z Federal authorities seize $1.38 million in drugs in NogalesCarmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 04, 2013 8:15 pm  • 

Five people were arrested in separate weekend smuggling attempts involving local residents and Mexican nationals at the Nogales port of entry, authorities said.

On Saturday morning, a 42-year-old Mexican national was arrested after officers found more than 27.5 pounds of methamphetamine hidden throughout a Buick sedan he was driving through the Dennis DeConcini port of entry, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. The methamphetamine was worth nearly $427,000.

On Friday, officers made four apprehensions involving the seizure of meth and cocaine with a combined value close to $750,000, said officials.

The largest seizure involved a 40-year-old Rio Rico woman who was taken into custody at the Mariposa port of entry after a drug-sniffing dog alerted to nearly 38 pounds of meth in her Chevrolet sedan. The meth was worth more than $586,000.

A 33-year-old Rio Rico man was also arrested at the same location after a K-9 alerted to drugs in his Volkswagen sedan. Officers removed nearly 22 pounds of cocaine, valued at almost $200,000, from the vehicle’s fuel tank.

A 38-year-old Mexican man was arrested when he attempted to drive through the DeConcini port of entry with more than nine pounds of methamphetamine within the fenders of his Nissan sedan. The drugs, valued at nearly $146,000, were also detected by a drug-sniffing dog.

A 34-year-old Nogales woman was arrested Thursday when she attempted to enter the U.S. through the Morley pedestrian gate with more than a pound of meth, which was valued at about $17,000. It was hidden under spandex clothing she was wearing.

“The hard work and dedication of our CBP officers is evident in the number and types of seizures we are seeing,” said Guadalupe Ramirez, port director, in a news release. “Continued vigilance remains our priority.”

The drugs and vehicles were processed for seizure, and the suspects were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

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