CBP Port of Nogales Officers Encounter Unusual Concealment Methods

TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, Port of Nogales officers arrested two Tucson residents on separate smuggling attempts, and seized 16 pounds of methamphetamine, and nearly half pound of heroin yesterday.

On Thursday afternoon, CBP officers at the DeConcini Crossing referred a 28-year-old man for additional inspection of his Ford Truck as he attempted to enter the U.S.  Following a positive alert by a CBP narcotics detection canine to a scent it is trained to detect, a search led to the discovery of 14 packages of drugs hidden within the walls of an ice chest cooler located in the bed of the truck. The drugs were determined to be nearly 16 pounds of methamphetamine, worth $16,000.

About one hour later, in a separate incident, officers at the DeConcini Crossing referred a 26-year-old woman for a search as she attempted to enter the U.S. through the pedestrian lane. The search led CBP officers to detect nearly one-half pound of heroin concealed in her groin area. The street value of the heroin was determined to be approximately $3,200.

Officers seized the drugs and vehicle, the subjects were arrested and subsequently turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Federal law allows officers to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.