U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued the following press release on September 27, 2011:
Lukeville, Ariz.— Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Tucson Field Office, a component of the Customs and Border Protection Joint Field Command – Arizona (JFC-AZ), arrested three people on drug smuggling charges and identified a missing teen returning from Mexico over the weekend.
Officers at the San Luis Port stopped a male 17-year-old, from Yuma, Friday evening and learned of his missing-person status during secondary questioning. Custody of the teen was transferred to the San Luis Police.
Earlier Friday, a 23-year-old man from San Luis attempted to enter the United States through a vehicle lane at the San Luis Port and was referred for a secondary inspection of his Volkswagen sedan. After a narcotics detection canine alerted to the center console area, officers located a non-factory compartment containing 19 packages of crystal methamphetamine. The drugs weighed about 21 pounds and had an estimated value of $325,000. The vehicle and drugs were processed for seizure. The subject was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Saturday morning, officers at the Lukeville Port referred a 23-year-old Mexican man for a secondary inspection of his Chevrolet sedan when he attempted to enter the United States. After an X-ray inspection revealed an anomaly in the gas tank, officers located a non-factory compartment containing 25 packages of marijuana. The drugs, weighing about 44 pounds and worth around $22,000, were processed for seizure. The subject was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Sunday afternoon, Lukeville officers referred a 43-year-old man from Sacaton, Ariz., for a secondary inspection of his Buick sedan when he attempted to enter the United States. During an X-ray of the vehicle, officers noticed an anomaly within the entire floorboard. Further inspection led to the discovery of 56 packages of marijuana weighing 112 pounds and worth an estimated $56,000. The vehicle and drugs were processed for seizure. The subject was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Individuals arrested are charged with a criminal complaint, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
CBP announced the JFC-AZ in February 2011 as an organizational realignment that brings together the U.S. Border Patrol, Air and Marine, and Field Operations under a unified command structure. The JFC-AZ integrates CBP’s border security, commercial enforcement, and trade facilitation missions to more effectively meet the unique challenges faced in the Arizona area of operations.
CBP’s Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked primarily with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation’s food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.