On February 12, Gerardo Cruz of Sonora, Mexico attempted to drive a tractor-trailer through the Port of Nogales into the US. However, a Border Patrol narcotics detection canine alerted its handlers to the presence of drugs in the truck.<!- mfunc feat_school ->
While the truck was ostensibly carrying aircraft parts, Border Patrol officers discovered that six palletized boxes contained a very large quantity of marijuana. In fact, the truck contained about 17,060 pounds of marijuana—an amount worth more than $8.5 million.
This seizure turned out to be the second largest marijuana seizure in the history of Arizona’s ports. Only a 20,000-pound seizure from November 2013 exceeded this amount. Officers seized the entire shipment and turned 23-year old Cruz over to ICE’s Homeland Security Investigation.
Just four days earlier, Juan Rodolfo Lugo-Urias of Playas De Rosarito, Baja California attempted to drive a tractor-trailer through the Mariposa Commercial Facility. A narcotics dog also keyed on a shipment in the truck.
Upon further inspection, Border Patrol agents discovered more than $1.1 million worth of meth—387 pounds. The drugs were hidden in a shipment of bell peppers. This seizure was the largest meth seizure ever at an Arizona port. Officers seized the truck and turned Lugo-Urias to over to ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations.
In his comments about the marijuana seizure, Nogales Port Director Guadalupe Ramirez stated that “seizures such as this are the result of a combined effort by our officers, canine, and technology” in a CBP.gov press release.