Customs and Border Protection officers in Nogales arrested two people trying to smuggle a combined $812,000 worth of drugs Wednesday.

Officers first referred a 50-year-old Nogales woman for additional screening of her Ford SUV at the Mariposa Crossing.

A narcotics detection canine alerted officers to a scent coming from the vehicle. Officers then removed 16 pounds of cocaine from the SUV's rear-quarter panel. The drugs are worth more than $381,000, an agency news release said.

When a 40-year-old Mesa man arrived that evening, officers sent him for further inspection of his Mazda sedan. A canine's alert led officers to remove nearly $296,000 worth of heroin and more than $135,000 worth of meth.

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The drugs and vehicles were seized. Officers then turned the man and woman over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1


Shaq is a public safety reporter and the Road Runner columnist, keeping readers up to date on transportation news. In 2017, he started as an apprentice and later worked part-time until graduating from the UA and being offered a full-time position in 2018.