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Border Agents Seize 1300 Pounds


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U.S. Border Patrol agents seized 1,300 pounds of marijuana from a Chevrolet Tahoe Monday night that drug smugglers drove through the southbound lane at the Douglas Port of Entry before getting it stuck in a wash west of Douglas trying to escape back to Mexico, agency officials said Tuesday.

At 10:30 p.m. at the Douglas Port of Entry, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers called Border Patrol for assistance after the Tahoe sped through the southbound lane and into Douglas, said Gustavo Soto, Border Patrol Tucson Sector spokesman.

The SUV, with three people inside, tried to elude authorities by driving west of the port of entry on border access roads, he said. Border Patrol agents were trying to throw down spike strips to slow the vehicle, Soto said.

Finally, about 100 yards west of Plantation Road, which is a north-south road located about five miles west of Douglas, the men attempted to drive the Tahoe south back into Mexico through the barb wire fence that marks the border there, Soto said. It got stuck in a wash and the three people returned to Mexico by foot.

Officials found 73 bundles of marijuana in the vehicle that weighed a total of 1,318 pounds, Soto said. The marijuana has an estimated street value of $659,000, using figures from the Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, the federal anti-drug analysis and intelligence center.

The seizure is the latest in what has been a record-breaking start to fiscal year 2007 in the Tucson Sector. Through Dec. 28 – the latest figures available – marijuana seizures were up 28 percent over fiscal year 2006, which broke all previous records.

Border Patrol headquarters is no longer allowing Sectors to release updated numbers of marijuana seizures, illegal entrant apprehensions and border deaths, Soto said. Chief David Aguilar will be releasing those figures quarterly, he said.

Newshawk: User - 420 Magazine
Source: azstarnet.com
Pubdate: 9 January 2007
Copyright: 2007 Tucson.com
Contact: tucson.com | Tucson.com - Arizona Daily Star - No. 1 Tucson website for news, sports, cars, homes, jobs
Website: tucson.com | Tucson.com - Arizona Daily Star - No. 1 Tucson website for news, sports, cars, homes, jobs
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