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

Texas Customs and Border Patrol Officers Seize Nearly $1.9 Million in Narcotics in Three Seizures

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – In three separate enforcement actions this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Brownsville Port of Entry intercepted alleged narcotics that have a combined estimated street value of $1,892,620.

The first drug seizure took place on Sunday, Jan. 10, at the Veterans International Bridge at Brownsville when a 59-year-old male Mexican citizen from Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, applied for entry into the United States He was driving a 2007 Mercedes Benz autobus, which was referred to a CBP secondary examination station where, with the aid of a canine unit and a non-intrusive imaging system, CBP officers discovered 58 packages hidden within the autobus. 

Packages containing 67 pounds of cocaine seized by CBP officers at Brownsville, Texas, Port of Entry.

Packages containing 67 pounds of cocaine seized by CBP officers at Brownsville, Texas, Port of Entry.

Officers removed the packages, which contained a total of 67.18 pounds of alleged cocaine.

The second seizure took place on Thursday, Jan. 14, at the Gateway International Bridge when a 26-year-old female United States citizen from Edinburg, Texas, driving a 2000 Honda Accord applied for entry into the United States.  The vehicle was referred to secondary examination after a canine sniffing the vehicle alerted officers to something suspicious. With the aid of a non-intrusive imaging system, CBP officers discovered 20 packages hidden within the Honda Accord, which contained a total of 23.32 pounds of alleged methamphetamine.

The third seizure took place on Friday, Jan. 15, at the Gateway International Bridge when a 18-year-old male United States citizen from Brownsville, Texas, applied for entry into the United States as the driver of a 2008 Dodge Avenger.  The vehicle was referred to CBP secondary for further examination after a primary inspection.  In secondary, with the aid of a canine unit and a non-intrusive imaging system, CBP officers discovered 11 packages hidden within the Dodge Avenger which contained a total of 27.69 pounds of alleged cocaine and one package which contained a total of 3.52 pounds of alleged meth.

The estimated street value of the narcotics from the seizures is approximately $1,142,060, $466,493 and $284,067, respectively, for a total of nearly $1.9 million.

CBP officers seized the narcotics along with the vehicles, arrested the drivers and turned them over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation.

“Our CBP officers’ hard work and dedication has led to these significant narcotics seizures and our streets are safer for it,” said Port Director Tater Ortiz, Brownsville Port of Entry.