Phoenix couple caught smuggling pot in pop-up

A Phoenix east valley couple was arrested Monday for allegedly attempting to smuggle more than $286,000 worth of marijuana into the United States through the Lukeville Port.

Customs and Border Protection officers referred Sandra Dee Peart, 45, of Chandler, and her passenger, Jason Burnett, 41, of Mesa, for a secondary inspection of the trailer they were towing behind her Ford truck when they applied for entry at the border.

A further inspection of the Phoenix area couple’s vehicle led to the discovery of 36 packages of marijuana, weighing nearly 573 pounds. The vehicle, trailer and drugs were seized. Peart and Burnett were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

The seizure was the second this week, involving marijuana being concealed in vehicles driven by Phoenix area residents allegedly returning from Rocky Point, Mexico. Mario Madrid Hernandez, 48, and Dana Kimberly Oviatt, 44, both of Mesa, were arrested on Sept. 28 after officers located 431 pounds of marijuana inside their recreational vehicle. Hernandez and Oviatt were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

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