An Arizona Department of Corrections officer is one of five individuals arrested Monday in separate incidents for allegedly transporting marijuana into the United States through the Douglas Port of Entry.
Ramon Cruz, 28, applied for entry into the United States when a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer noticed his Department of Corrections uniform with attached badge lying in the back seat of his Ford pickup truck. During primary inspection, the CBP officer asked Cruz to open the center console. When Cruz opened the console, the CBP officer observed brick-shaped packages and referred Cruz for a secondary inspection.
During a secondary inspection, a CBP canine alerted to vehicle’s center console. Officers then removed 19 packages of marijuana with a combined weight of more than 21 pounds and an estimated value of more than $10,500. Cruz was arrested and his uniform and badge were turned over to a criminal investigator from the Arizona Department of Corrections.
In another incident, 23-year-old Joel Soriano and his two 19-year-old passengers, Carmen Torres and Julio Cesar Garcia, were arrested after CBP officers discovered almost 34 pounds of marijuana hidden in Soriano’s 1995 Monte Carlo. The narcotics had an estimated value of nearly $17,000.
The largest seizure, however, resulted from the discovery of a false floor in a 1995 Chevrolet Suburban driven by 38-year-old Robert Dale Alcorn of Phoenix. A canine alerted to the floor area where officers later found and removed more than 600 pounds of marijuana valued in excess of $300,000.
In all three incidents, the subjects were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the narcotics and vehicles were seized by Customs and Border Protection.