Lukeville, Ariz. — Three men, two Mexican nationals and one U.S. citizen, were arrested in separate incidents Friday and Saturday for attempting to smuggle contraband across the international border.
Friday, Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Lukeville Port, selected a 2005 Ford Focus for a random secondary inspection when the driver applied to enter the U.S. During the inspection, officers discovered 25 pounds of cocaine valued in excess of $227,000 hidden behind the vehicle’s dashboard.
A U.S. citizen was arrested Saturday after officers selected his 2001 Dodge pickup for a random inspection and, with the aid of a CBP drug-detecting canine, found a non-standard vehicle battery under the hood containing nearly 12 pounds of heroin valued at almost $160,000.
Officers conducting outbound operations at the port selected a 1997 Dodge Stratus for a random examination and, using a fiber optic scope, located packages in the vehicle’s fuel tank that turned out to be nearly $25,000 in unreported cash and more than 1,200 rounds of ammunition in varying calibers. During a follow-on search of the driver, a Mexican national, officers discovered he was in possession of $2,000 more than he claimed to be carrying.
In each incident, vehicles and contraband were processed for seizure. The individuals were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Individuals arrested may be charged by complaint, the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.