Officers seize $3.6M worth of drugs in 5 hours at Arizona-Mexico border

2014-05-16T12:09:00Z Officers seize $3.6M worth of drugs in 5 hours at Arizona-Mexico borderKimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 16, 2014 12:09 pm  • 

In just five hours Wednesday, Customs and Border Protection officers along the Arizona-Mexico border seized $3.6 million worth of marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine.

After a drug-sniffing dog detected narcotics in a tractor-trailer driven by a 36-year-old Mexico man at the Nogales port of entry around 1 p.m., officers searched the vehicle and found more than 6,700 pounds of marijuana divided into 465 packages, hidden in a non-factory compartment in the front wall of the trailer, according to a news release from the Department of Homeland Security.

The haul was worth an estimated $3.35 million.

Later in the afternoon, a drug dog sniffed out 14 pounds of meth and 3 pounds of heroin hidden in the gas tank and rear seats of a Nissan sedan driven by Luis Enrique Gonzalez-Murillo, 21, of Hermosillo, Sonora. The meth had a street value of $42,500. The heroin was worth $46,500.

During the same time period, officers at the Douglas port of entry also made two busts.

After a dog alerted to narcotics in a Saturn driven by Moises Torres-Zamora, 68, of Douglas, officers found 170 packages — 236 pounds — of marijuana from the bumpers and undercarriage of his car. The drugs were valued at $118,000.

A few hours later, Douglas officers inspected a Ford pickup truck driven by Jesus Fabian Saldate-Vasquez, 27, of Agua Prieta, Sonora, and found 44 packages of marijuana in the gas tank. The drugs weighed more than 43 pounds and were worth about $22,000.

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

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