SELLS – An investigation into the seizure of almost 400 lbs of methamphetamine, approximately 10 lbs of fentanyl powder, about 8 lbs of fentanyl pills and $55,041 in US currency, resulting in the arrest four individuals in Phoenix continues.
According to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), last Thursday agents and United States Border Patrol Intelligence Agents identified a vehicle being used by alleged drug traffickers to smuggle hundreds of pounds of hard narcotics from Mexico into the United States. On July 30, the vehicle drove up a make-shift ramp over the United States border approximately 50 miles west of Lukeville Port-of-Entry between Ajo and Welton US Border Patrol Stations. Federal agents conducted surveillance on the vehicle from the border to Phoenix.
When agents arrived in Phoenix, they watched the contents of the vehicle being unloaded into a second vehicle. Agents quickly moved in to secure the scene and arrested Luis Rendon-Espinoza, Manual Delgado-Lopez, Miguel Daniel Luna and Felicitas Saenz charging them with various narcotics federal violations.
The investigation is part of an HSI partnership with the NATIVE Task Force.
According to HSI, the NATIVE Task Force is a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) initiative formed in August 2013 to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) operating within or through the Tohono O’odham Nation. The NATIVE Task Force is led by the Tohono O’odham Police Department (TOPD) and comprised of special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Office of Law Enforcement and Security, Bureau of Indian Affairs Drug Enforcement Division, U.S. Border Patrol and Arizona HIDTA
“This significant seizure is a prime example of the importance of HSI partnering with federal agencies to leverage all capabilities and expertise to interdict and disrupt the flow of drugs into the U.S.” said Special Agent in Charge Scott Brown for HSI Arizona.