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December 8, 09

NEWS / Border Patrol Seizes $868,000 Worth of Marijuana from Makeshift Backbacks

Wellton, Ariz. Ė U.S. Border Patrol agents seized more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana while tracking three different groups of suspected drug smugglers in a desolate area of southwest Arizona.

Border Patrol agents assigned to Camp Grip detected the illegal entry of six individuals about 30 miles west of the Lukeville, Ariz. port of entry at about noon on Thursday. With help from CBP Air Interdiction agents, Border Patrol agents on the ground located the group of six suspected drug smugglers along with six makeshift backpacks full of marijuana. The backpacks contained 13 bundles of marijuana and weigh approximately 293 pounds.

On Friday afternoon, CBP Air Interdiction agents helped Camp Grip agents locate another group of suspected drug smugglers near the same area. Agents arrested four more suspected smugglers and seized nine large bundles of marijuana weighing approximately 47 pounds each.

On Saturday morning, Camp Grip agents detected the illegal entry of another 10 individuals that crossed the border near the same area. As agents closed in on the group, the suspected drug smugglers dropped eight backpacks and ran back into Mexico to avoid apprehension. The backpacks contained several bundles of marijuana weighing a total of 370 pounds.

Since Thursday, Camp Grip agents have arrested 10 suspected drug smugglers and seized 1,085 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated street value of $868,000. The suspected smugglers will be charged with drug smuggling and illegal entry.

Camp Grip is Yuma Sectorís tactically deployed forward operating base that is designed to gain operational control of the seam between the Yuma and Tucson Sectors. The success of Camp Grip demonstrates the Border Patrolís ability to mobilize its enforcement stance along the southwest border where needed. These bases act as a deterrent and an additional detection platform, ensuring that smuggling organizations understand that if they operate in these areas, they will be pursued and apprehended.




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