U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that so far this month, its officers in Nogales have seized approximately $14.3 million worth of narcotics, confiscated weapons and ammunition, and arrested a man wanted for murder in Las Vegas.
In a news release issued Tuesday, CBP said local officers have made more than 25 busts since Feb. 1 that have resulted in the seizure of 440 pounds of methamphetamine, 385,000 fentanyl tablets, 84 pounds of heroin and nearly 13 pounds of cocaine.
“The seizures encompassed all facets of port operations,” CBP said, noting that they came in the ports’ vehicle and pedestrian processing areas, from commercial cargo and rail car revisions, and from both inbound and outbound inspections.
The concealment methods for illegal contraband varied from spare tires and the dashboard areas of vehicles, to smugglers’ body cavities.
“I could not be prouder of our officers,” Michael Humphries, CBP’s port director in Nogales said in the news release. “Even during a pandemic, they continue to keep dangerous opioids off the streets and keep our communities safe.”
Some of the busts have been previously announced and reported in the NI’s weekly Ports and Border recap. Those include the case of a 42-year-old man and 39-year-old woman, both U.S. citizens, who were caught last week trying to smuggle methamphetamine, fentanyl tablets and cocaine in a compartment beneath the center console of their pickup.
Others included an incident on Feb. 10, when a 41-year-old trucker from Mexico was arrested at the Mariposa Port of Entry after officers discovered more than seven pounds of fentanyl tablets hidden in two fire extinguishers in the cab of the tractor he was driving.
Earlier that day, officers working on railroad inspections discovered more than 256 pounds of methamphetamine and six pounds of cocaine in a hidden compartment of a rail car.
On Feb. 3, officers at the Mariposa crossing arrested the 28-year-old murder suspect. At the time of his arrest, the man was in a stolen vehicle, in possession of a loaded AR-15 assault rifle, a loaded pistol and 337 rounds of various ammunition. Following his arrest, the man was turned over to local authorities for extradition to Las Vegas.
More recently, officers and K9 teams in Nogales discovered more than 70,000 fentanyl pills and 16.3 pounds of heroin in the dash of a vehicle. That bust, worth an estimated $380,000, was announced on Humphries’ Twitter feed on Feb. 12.