Courtney Mally, The Republic
Customs and Border Patrol officers arrested five suspects accused of being involved in several drug-smuggling attempts over the weekend at the Port of Nogales in Arizona, according to officials.
CBP seized more than 120 pounds of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, Department of Homeland Security officials said in a news release.
$20,000 of meth
On Oct. 9, CBP officers inspected the vehicle of Salvador Alejandro Jara, 21, of Casa Grande. A K-9 team brought attention to the passenger door of the Toyota sedan. There, officers found about 20 pounds of meth, worth nearly $20,000, according to a news release.
$97,000 of meth
On Oct. 10, officers inspected a Nissan sedan belonging to Frida Catalina Ibarra-Mendez, 39, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. The K-9 team alerted the presence of drugs in the front wheel well of her vehicle, where officers found more than 32 pounds of meth worth about $97,000, according to DHS.
$258,000 of heroin
As the day progressed, CBP officers at the DeConcini crossing inspected a Toyota sedan driven by Mayte Itzamar Rivera-Alcala, 22, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and her passenger, 22-year-old Paola Lopez of Sahuarita. The K-9 team directed the officers to the vehicle's doors, where more than 18 pounds of heroin was found, worth almost $258,000, according to DHS.
$524,400 of heroin, cocaine
Later that day, officers inspected another vehicle at the DeConcini crossing, belonging to Ricardo Alday-Valez, 26, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. A CBP canine detected drugs in the vehicle, leading officers to find more than 37 pounds of heroin and a small amount of cocaine, worth in total an estimated $524,400, according to DHS.
$285,000 of heroin
Another seizure occurred at the DeConcini crossing on Monday, when a Mercury sedan belonging to David Espinoza-Maldonado, 23, of Cananea, Sonora, Mexico, was inspected after a CBP canine detected drugs in the center console of the vehicle. CBP officers then found more than 20 pounds of heroin worth more than $285,000, a news release said.
CBP officers seized all drugs and turned all suspects over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.