Arizona State Troopers Seize More Than $6 Million in Illegal Drugs in Two Traffic Stops (That Somehow Made It Across the Border)

2021-05-15 Arizona State Troopers Seize $6 Million in Illegal Drugs 800x600

Arizona State Troopers seized more than $6 million in illegal drugs on May 15 and 18.

An Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) Canine District trooper stopped the driver of a tractor-trailer on Interstate 10 westbound at milepost 237, near Marana, for multiple violations on Saturday night, May 15.

Inside the truck cab, troopers discovered 44.9 pounds of heroin, 40 pounds of fentanyl pills and 21.4 pounds of methamphetamine stowed in backpacks and duffel bags, which had somehow escaped notice while passing through a border checkpoint in Southern Arizona. AZDPS said the estimated street value of these drugs is more than $2.5 million.

The driver, 52-year-old Jesus E. Sepulveda, of Nogales, Az., was arrested on charges including possession and transportation of narcotic drugs for sale and possession of dangerous drugs for sale.

Three days later, on Tuesday, May 18th, the same trooper stopped the driver of a passenger car heading eastbound on Interstate 10 eastbound at milepost 48, in the Salome area, for a traffic violation. Searching the vehicle, troopers found 74 pounds of fentanyl pills with an estimated street value of $3.7 million, which had also somehow made it through the southern border.

The driver, 21-year-old Andrew Reyna of Los Angeles, was booked into La Paz County Jail on charges of possession and transportation of a narcotic drug for sale.

2021-05-28 Jesus Sepulveda arrested for transporting millions in illegal drugs

Jesus E. Sepulveda, 52, of Nogales, Az., was arrested on charges including possession and transportation of narcotic drugs for sale.

2021-05-15 Driver Reyna Andrew arrested for transporting illegal drugs

Andrew Reyna, 21, of Los Angeles, was booked into La Paz County Jail on charges of possession and transportation of a narcotic drug for sale.

“Arizona’s Border Strike Force continues to seize significant amounts of illegal narcotics coming across the southern border,” said Gov. Doug Ducey. “Keeping these dangerous and deadly drugs out of America’s schools and neighborhoods is a heroic effort. I’m grateful to this State Trooper and all who serve the people of Arizona fighting the flow of drug smuggling and human trafficking across the border.”

The goal of the Arizona Border Strike Force (BSF) is to deter, disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations that breach the border in their quest to conduct criminal activity in our state.

The BSF operations focus on statewide roving criminal interdiction patrol details, intelligence-led remote area operations, outbound details, and deterrent saturation patrols. Specific units within the Border Strike Force Bureau include the Canine District, the Southern Investigations District, and the Vehicle Theft District.

Posted May 28, 2021

Canine Detects Meth Hidden in Vehicle Headrest

YUMA, Ariz. – A Yuma Sector canine alerted Border Patrol agents to a suspicious-smelling vehicle in which one pound of methamphetamine was found hidden in a seat headrest.

2021-05-13 fentanyl sniffed out by K9 Brit

At approximately 10:30 a.m. on May 28, Blythe Border Patrol agents encountered a Nissan Pathfinder as it traveled through the California immigration checkpoint on Highway 78. Agents referred the vehicle to the checkpoint’s secondary inspection area after a canine “alerted” agents something was problematic with the vehicle.

During a search of the vehicle, agents discovered that one of the seat’s headrests had a plastic bag hidden inside that contained one pound of methamphetamine, worth approximately $1,800-$5,000.

Record checks conducted on the Nissan’s three occupants, all U.S. citizens from Blythe, Calif., revealed the driver, a 34-year-old male, had an outstanding warrant in El Centro, California, for a previous drug smuggling attempt five months earlier through the same checkpoint. Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) said the unnamed man was turned over to local law enforcement for the warrant and will be charged for drug possession and/or transportation for sale.

The other two passengers in the vehicle, a 26-year-old male and 31-year-old female, also had extensive criminal history with charges related to drug possession and sales. One of them was cited in this incident and both were subsequently released. (Editor’s Note: Yes, the CBP says they were “released.”)

Posted May 28, 2021

Yuma Sector Canine Sniffs Out Fentanyl; Kingman Residents Involved

YUMA, Ariz. – A Yuma Sector canine working at the immigration checkpoint on Highway 78 near Blythe, Calif., on May 13 sniffed out a sandwich bag containing fentanyl pills hidden in a suitcase.

At approximately 8 a.m., Border Patrol agents referred a Toyota Prius to the checkpoint’s secondary inspection area following a canine alert. Agents determined that the four vehicle occupants were U.S. citizens from Kingman, Az. Three of them drove to Calexico, Calif., to pick up the fourth and they were in the process of heading back to Kingman when they drove through the checkpoint.

Border Patrol agents confiscated a sandwich bag containing fentanyl pills.
Border Patrol agents confiscated a sandwich bag containing fentanyl pills.

During a search of the vehicle, agents found a plastic bag containing 77 grams of fentanyl pills, worth approximately $1,800, in a suitcase that belonged to the 32-year-old female who was picked up in Calexico. Border agents arrested the woman and seized the fentanyl.

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine but 50 to 100 times more potent. Only two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal. The female smuggler possessed the equivalent of 77,000 milligrams of fentanyl, the Border Patrol said.

Posted May 17, 2021

Border Patrol Detains Fleeing Hit and Run Suspect

MURRIETA, Calif. —  U.S. Border Patrol agents detained a convicted felon on Sunday, May 2, after he was involved in a hit and run accident.

At approximately 5:30 p.m., a Border Patrol agent arrived at the scene of a multi-vehicle car accident near the Interstate 15 immigration checkpoint.  A witness at the scene informed the agent that a man involved in the incident fled on foot before the agent arrived.  Witnesses were able to describe the man and said he was attempting to carjack someone before fleeing.

Responding agents quickly located a man, matching the description, walking along Interstate 15 north of the accident scene.  When agents stopped him for questioning, the man was uncooperative and resisted Border Patrol agents attempt to detain him.  However, the agents were able to deescalate the situation and convinced the man to comply with their orders.  He was detained by agents as they investigated the incident.

Record checks revealed that the man was a 49-year-old U.S. citizen with an extensive criminal history.  Investigating further, agents discovered the man had multiple felony and misdemeanor convictions.

California Highway Patrol (CHP), for the Temecula area, personnel arrived shortly after and took the man into custody, charging him with felony DUI and felony hit and run.

The Border Patrol declined to disclose the arrested man’s name, allegedly in case Vice President Kamala Harris decides to set him free or places him on a taxpayer-paid plane to the Midwest.

Del Rio, Texas, Border Patrol Agents Arrest Convicted Sex Offender

DEL RIO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to Del Rio Station arrested a convicted sex offender, Feb. 9.

Agents arrested Jorge Ramirez-Barrera, 34, a citizen of Mexico, shortly after he illegally entered the United States. During processing, records checks revealed that Ramirez-Barrera was convicted of aggravated kidnapping and sexual abuse in 2017, and was sentenced to 156 days of imprisonment. A Border Patrol spokeswoman said Ramirez-Barrera was most recently removed from the United States in 2017.

As a convicted felon, he faces a charge of “Re-entry After Deportation,” which carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Given President Joe Biden’s border policies, it is uncertain whether Ramirez-Barrera will be tried, released, or housed in a hotel at taxpayer expense.

“Thanks to Del Rio agents, this predator convicted of aggravated kidnapping and sexual abuse was arrested and prevented from committing more crimes in the United States,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Austin L. Skero II. “The agents of Del Rio Sector are laser focused on protecting our nation from all threats.”

Law Enforcement Cooperation in Laredo Sector Leads to Arrest of Child Sex Offender Among 30 Illegals

LAREDO, TEXAS – While working with local law enforcement agencies, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested an individual with a criminal history of Sexual Assault of a Child southwest of Hebbronville, Texas.

On Feb. 3, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) unmanned aircraft system spotted a large group of people walking in the brush.  Agents — along with the Laredo Sector Horse Patrol Unit, a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Air Asset, and a CBP Air Unit — apprehended 30 individuals.  They were all determined to be illegally in the United States and were from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Illegals apprehended near Laredo, Texas

Record checks were conducted on all the individuals and identified one subject in the group as a child sex offender.  Eril Lainez-Corea, a 29-year old Honduran national had been arrested in 2018, convicted of Sexual Offense Against a Child-Fondling in Wauseon, Ohio, and sentenced to two years of probation.  His record further revealed that he had an extensive criminal history.

Lainez-Corea said he voted for Joe Biden and was released on his own recognizance. More seriously: Lainez-Corea is being held by the U.S. Border Patrol pending prosecution of his immigration violations.  He will be remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service.

Border Patrol arrests 11 Iranians in Arizona Who Illegally Crossed the U.S.-Mexico Border

YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a group of 11 Iranian citizens who illegally crossed the border into the United States the evening of Feb. 1.

Border Patrol agents encountered the group near San Luis, Arizona, on a bridge near County 21st Street and the Salinity Canal at about 6 p.m.  Agents determined the group had illegally crossed the international border into the U.S.  The group was.  The five females and six males, all from Iran, arrested and taken to Yuma Station for processing. Iran is considered “a Special Interest Country.”  

Iranian national flag For the last two fiscal years, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents have led the nation in apprehending illegal crossers from Iran.  Yuma Sector agents apprehended eight Iranian nationals in FY2020, compared to just 14 from all other border patrol sectors combined.  So far in FY2021, Yuma Sector agents have apprehend 14 nationals from Iran, Customs and Border Patrol reported.