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MEXICO MANGO MAFIA : Nogales CBP Officers Seize $6.2M in Marijuana

Release Date:
March 12, 2015

TUCSON, Ariz. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Nogales Commercial Facility seized nearly $6.2 million in marijuana – 12,397 pounds – from a Mexican national Wednesday when he attempted to enter the United States through the Port of Nogales.

 The seizure is verified as being the third largest marijuana seizure in Arizona port history. 

The two largest seizures at an Arizona port took place in January (14,121 lbs.) and November of 2013 (20,375 lbs.). 

CBP officers at the Mariposa crossing seized more than 12,000 pounds of marijuana from a tractor trailer.

Officers discovered the co-mingled load inside of a tractor trailer driven by Silvestre Tomas Camez-Mendoza, 39, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, following an alert by a CBP narcotics detection canine. The load of varied pump components contained 534 bales of marijuana inside of cardboard boxes.

The seizure represents the second co-mingled marijuana seizure in the past two days at the Mariposa Commercial Facility. On Tuesday, officers found a nearly 2,500 pound marijuana load in a tractor-trailer driven by a 51-year-old driver from Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, following a positive alert by a CBP narcotics detection canine. The 308 bundles of narcotics were co-mingled with a load of green peppers.

The seizures represent a total of nearly 14,900 pounds of marijuana, worth nearly $7.4 million dollars since Tuesday at the Port of Nogales.

Nogales Port Director Guadalupe Ramirez complimented his staff at the Mariposa Commercial Facility for the seizure.

“Our personnel are the best at what they do,”
he said.

“The attention to detail that is necessary to make these type of seizures is incredible. In addition to their expertise and dedication to duty, the latest in technology helps to prevent illicit cargo from entering the U.S. and our communities, while also facilitating legitimate trade and travel.”

In both cases the drivers were referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection 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.

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