Women Charged Third Time Transporting Marijuana Across Border


CBP officer [Photo courtesy CBP}

A Tucson woman arrested at the Douglas Port of Entry last month as she tried to reenter the United States in a vehicle that contained 90 packages of marijuana in a hidden compartment has been released on her own recognizance by a federal magistrate pending future court proceedings.

Blanca Luz Carrillo is charged in U.S. District Court with felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and one count of possession of marijuana. She was arrested shortly before 6 a.m. June 9 as she drove her personal vehicle through a Customs and Border Protection inspection lane.

Court records show CBP officers became suspicious due to the driver’s “nervous behavior.” The vehicle, described as a 2011 Mitsubishi Galant, was then referred for a secondary inspection that included an x-ray scan.

Carrillo, 45, was the only occupant in the vehicle.

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“The scan showed anomalies in the trunk area and (officers) also noticed that the trunk looked to be too shallow,” according to the criminal complaint authorized by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tucson. “The packages were found concealed in a hidden compartment located in the truck of the vehicle behind the rear passenger seats.”

The packages weighed a total of 100 pounds. After her arrest, Carrillo took part in post-Miranda interview with a Homeland Security Investigations taskforce during which she purportedly told federal agents she knew the packages of marijuana were in her car.

“Carrillo stated that she was to be paid $2,000 in exchange for smuggling the marijuana into the United States and transporting it to Tucson, Arizona,” the complaint notes. “Carrillo also admitted that this was her third time transporting marijuana into the United States, and she acknowledged that she knew it was against the law to do so.”

As of July 2, no new hearing date has been announced in Carrillo’s case. In the meantime, she cannot travel outside the state of Arizona without prior court approval and may not apply for any passports or visas during the pendency of the case, according to the conditions of release imposed by Magistrate Judge Eric Markovich.