TUCSON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Arizona’s Port of Nogales apprehended a U.S. citizen and 2 Mexican nationals involved in separate failed attempts to smuggle more than $558,000 worth of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin into the United States over the weekend.
Officers working at the Mariposa Crossing referred a 36-year-old Nogales, Arizona man for further inspection of his Ford Mustang early Saturday morning. A CBP narcotics detection canine alerted to a scent that it was trained to detect, resulting in drugs being located in the vehicle engine’s manifold. The inspection led to the discovery of more than 6 pounds of meth, worth nearly $19,000.
A few hours later, officers at the Mariposas crossing referred a 23-year-old Mexican woman for a further search of her Nissan sedan. A canine alert led to the discovery of more than 66 pounds of meth, worth in excess of $198,000, nearly 3 pounds of cocaine, worth more than $33,000 and almost 4 pounds of heroin, worth more $61,000 throughout the vehicle.
Sunday morning, officers at the Mariposa crossing referred a 44-year-old Mexican woman for an additional search of her Mercury SUV. Following a canine alert, officers removed more than 35 pounds of meth, worth more than $106,000 as well as more than 8 pounds of heroin, worth in excess of $140,000 from within the spare tire.
Officers seized the drugs and vehicles, and after their arrests turned all three subjects over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.