Today: Jan 18 , 2020

Arizona Borders: Concealed Meth, A Rescue, Tunnels & More

31 March 2016   U.S. Customs and Border

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol have seized contraband and drugs, rescued an injured man and discovered a tunnel.

Mexican Officials Report Cross-Border Tunnel, Extends Approximately 30 Feet Into U.S.

TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents, acting on information provided by Mexican authorities Monday, investigated a cross-border tunnel that extends approximately 30 feet into the United States east of the Morley Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona.

Mexican government officials contacted the Nogales Border Patrol Station to report they had located a tunnel entrance in Nogales, Sonora. Nogales agents, in cooperation with Mexican authorities, investigated the tunnel and determined it to be incomplete and approximately 80 feet long.

Since agents discovered the first illicit tunnel in 1990 in Douglas, Arizona, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents have investigated more than 115 tunnels (110 in the Nogales area alone) and seized in excess of 17,500 pounds of narcotics. Since October 1, 2015, Tucson Sector agents have located three tunnels.

The tunnels, typically primitive in nature, are generally used by transnational criminal organizations to smuggle narcotics into the United States. Agents put themselves in dangerous, unnerving situations when they investigate tunnels.

CBP Canine Sniffs out 52 lbs of Meth in Car

TUCSON, Ariz. – Customs and Border Protection officers arrested a Mexican national on March 24 for attempting to smuggle almost 52 pounds of methamphetamine through the Dennis DeConcini crossing at the Port of Nogales.

Officers inspecting the vehicle of a 42-year-old woman found multiple packages of meth after a CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to the drugs hidden inside the vehicle’s rocker panels when she attempted to enter the U.S.  

Officers seized the drugs and vehicle, and turned the subject – a legal permanent resident – over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Nogales CBP Officers Seize Firearms, Ammo

TUCSON, Ariz. — A Phoenix woman and a U.S. citizen male living in Mexico were arrested March 27 for attempting to smuggle firearms and ammunition into Mexico through the Port of Nogales.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers conducting outbound inspections selected a Ford SUV, driven by the 26-year-old woman, for further inspection. During the search, officers found two tactical rifles, rifle components and 3,000 rounds of ammunition.

Officers seized the vehicle and contraband, and referred both subjects to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.    


Joint Operation Results in Rescue of Injured Man

TUCSON, Ariz. – A Border Patrol agent from Tucson Sector’s Ajo Station and an Air and Marine Operations Yuma Air Branch helicopter crew rescued an adult male Mexican national illegally present in suffering from a leg injury near Ajo, Arizona, early March 23.

Shortly before 8 a.m., the Ajo Border Patrol Station received notification of a 911 call from a man from Sinaloa, Mexico, and that he was injured with only 10 percent battery life remaining on his cell phone.

The agent responding to his location was able to get approximately 2.2 miles from his location by vehicle but had to hike the remaining distance. After an AMO crew was contacted, the pilot determined he could land nearby and transport the man to the Ajo Border Patrol Station.

After agents determined the man was illegally present in the United States and had broken his leg. Subsequently they arranged for ground transport further additional medical treatment.

“Entering the United States illegally, especially through the dangerous and unforgiving Arizona environment, is not worth risking one’s life.” said Paul Beeson, Commander of the DHS Joint Task Force West, Arizona. “As a result of unity of effort, communication and coordination, this story did not have a tragic ending.”

Border Patrol Agents Apprehend Man Convicted In 2001 Drive-By-Killing

TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended a Mexican national during the Easter weekend who had been deported after serving 11 years in prison for his involvement in a drive-by shooting in Tucson in 2001. 

After arresting Sergio Coronado-Mata outside of Tucson, agents conducting biometric records checks learned of Coronado’s manslaughter conviction in Pima County in 2001. The shooting, which wounded two others including a 17-year-old boy, occurred in the 1600 block of South Arcadia Avenue near South Swan and 29th.

Coronado, previously charged with first-degree murder but was convicted of manslaughter, has now been charged with felony reentry after deportation by an aggravated felon.

Individuals with criminal convictions often face stiffened penalties for reentry after deportation. Typically, Border Patrol agents do not know a subject’s criminal history until after conducting biometric records checks. Tucson Sector agents remain vigilant in their pursuit of criminal offenders and work to ensure the safety of the American public.