The Desert IndependentTM
Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001
Narcotics & firearm seized in multiple events
November 17, 2018
YUMA, Arizona Ė Wellton Station Border Patrol agents arrested seven U.S. citizens and two illegal aliens in multiple smuggling events on Interstate 8 over the last weekend. In the first event on Friday, November 9, at approximately 6:25 p.m., Wellton Station agents assigned to the Interstate 8 Immigration Checkpoint referred a gray 2004 Ford F-150 truck to the secondary inspection area.
There a U.S. Border Patrol canine alerted to an odor it was trained to detect. Agents searched the vehicle and discovered 22 packages of methamphetamine hidden behind the rear vehicle seats. The driver, a 26-year-old U.S. citizen from Yuma, was arrested for transporting 61.9 pounds of methamphetamine. The narcotics have an approximate street value of $185,700.
At approximately 10:00 a.m. Monday, November 12, Wellton Station agents were alerted to a vehicle traveling eastbound from Calexico that had picked up individuals on Interstate 8. Border Patrol agents performed an immigration stop on the occupants of a silver 2004 Pontiac Grand Am. After questioning, it was determined that two of the five occupants were Mexican nationals illegally present in the United States. The three remaining occupants were United States citizens. Also discovered in the vehicle were a pistol, one 9 mm magazine, 1.2 grams of marijuana, and 0.2 grams of cocaine. All five subjects were arrested for smuggling and immigration violations.
Later that same day at 4:30 p.m., agents assigned to the Interstate 8 Immigration Checkpoint encountered a 46-year-old female from Omaha, Nebraska and a passenger, both U.S. citizens. The subjects, traveling in a 2018 Jeep Commander, were sent for a secondary inspection, where a positive alert by a Border Patrol canine led agents to discover 10 individual packages of methamphetamine in the backseat worth $31,650.
Finally, at 10:10 p.m. Monday, agents working at the Interstate 8 Immigration Checkpoint were alerted to a gray 2012 Toyota Camry by a Border Patrol canine. Agents noticed anomalies in the subjectís lower legs, where they discovered that the 22-year-old U.S. citizens driver packages of fentanyl taped to his shins. Agents seized 898 grams of fentanyl.
An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials welcome assistance from the community. Individuals can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. Reporting illicit activity could result in saving someoneís life.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBPís mission includes keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws. Follow us on Twitter @CBPArizona.
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