$1.6 million in drugs seized at AZ borders in 6 days

2014-08-15T17:30:00Z 2014-08-16T10:32:44Z $1.6 million in drugs seized at AZ borders in 6 daysKimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 15, 2014 5:30 pm  • 

In less than a week border officers have confiscated $1.6 million worth of drugs at Arizona ports of entry.

— Wednesday Edson Omar Flores, 40, of San Luis, was arrested at that port of entry for trying to smuggle more than $70,000 worth of cocaine and methamphetamine into the United States, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release.

Officers found the drugs after a narcotics detection dog smelled them in the front fender wells of the Oldsmobile sedan Flores was driving.

They found nearly 5 pounds of cocaine worth $47,000, and more than 8 pounds of meth valued at nearly $25,000.

— In separate busts Tuesday, officers at the Nogales port seized more than $186,000 worth of narcotics.

A drug-sniffing dog found nearly 39 pounds of meth worth an estimated $117,000 in both side-walls of a Ford pickup truck bed driven by a 50-year-old man from Hermosillo, Sonora.

Later, officers referred a 32-year-old Tucson woman for further inspection of her Nissan sedan. A drug dog alerted to the flooring of the vehicle where officers found 20 packages of marijuana weighing nearly 139 pounds and worth about $69,000.

— Monday officers made three arrests at two ports and seized $364,000 in narcotics.

Officers at the Nogales port stopped a Toyota sedan driven by a 68-year-old Nogales, Arizona, man and a drug dog hit on a hidden compartment between the front seats. Inside, officers found more than 14 pounds of meth valued in excess of $42,000.

A short time later at the same crossing, officers referred a 49-year-old of Nogales, Sonora, man for further inspection of his Nissan SUV. Again, a drug dog alerted and officers found more than 22 pounds of cocaine worth about $231,000. The drugs were in a non-factory compartment behind the vehicle’s airbag. Officers also found a package containing more than 2 pounds of heroin, in excess of $32,000.

That same day, Ramon Conrado Vasquez-Villa, 61, of Coolidge, and 27-year-old Lynda Mara Villa Verdugo, of Mesa, were arrested at the Port of Lukeville when officers found 113 pounds of marijuana in their GMC truck. The drugs were worth an estimated $56,000.

A 73-year-old Coolidge woman also with them was not arrested.

— Sunday evening, officers at the Nogales port searched a GMC SUV driven by a 20-year-old Tucson man and found two packages of heroin, weighing nearly 3 pounds; more than half-a-pound of cocaine; and 25 packages of meth weighing nearly 37 pounds. The combined value of the drugs was more than $160,000.

— On Saturday officers made five drug busts in Nogales.

First they arrested a 39-year-old Mexican man after a drug dog sniffed out 32 pounds of meth worth $96,000 hidden in his Toyota sedan.

Then they arrested a 37-year-old Mexican woman when a drug dog detected narcotics in the suitcases she was carrying across the border. Inside officers found almost $98,000 worth of heroin.

A 24-year-old Glendale woman was arrested Saturday too, after a drug dog alerted officers to nearly 17 pounds of heroin, 8 pounds of meth and 5.5 pounds of cocaine in non-factory compartments above her Suzuki SUV’s rear axles. The drugs were worth $321,000.

They also made two pot busts Saturday that totaled almost $90,000.

They found nearly 80 pounds of marijuana within the backseat of a Chevrolet truck driven by a 32-year-old Mexican man. And they found more than 98 pounds of marijuana under the bed of a Ford truck driven by a 25-year-old Mexican man.

— Last Friday drug dogs made two busts at Nogales ports.

In the first, officers found 36 pounds of methamphetamine worth more than $108,000 and nearly 7 pounds of heroin worth more than $98,500 inside the backseats of an Oldsmobile SUV driven by a 20-year-old man from Mexico.

Soon after a 30-year-old Mexican woman tried to cross the border and officers found more than 4 pounds of meth hidden in the crotch of her clothing. The drugs were worth $12,500.

All drugs and vehicles were seized. The suspects were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Keep up with the latest public safety news on Twitter @DailyStarCops

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

The Star's public safety reporters comb through police reports, and tell you what you've missed.

Police Beat updates

Most Popular

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...