TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Border Patrol agents from Tucson Sector assisted Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers and Cochise County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) deputies foil a series of smuggling events, leading to 14 arrests in Douglas, Arizona, Wednesday.
Around 1 p.m., a Tucson Sector canine team responded to a DPS trooper’s call for assistance during a vehicle stop in the town. During the stop, the canine alerted to an odor emanating from the vehicle.
Troopers and agents subsequently discovered 3.5 grams of heroin, nearly 140 fentanyl pills and trace amounts of meth. DPS troopers arrested the Arizona couple in the vehicle and seized the drugs.
A few hours later, a CCSO deputy requested assistance during a vehicle stop along state Route 80. Upon arrival, agents discovered an 18-year-old Arizona man was smuggling five Mexican nationals, all illegally present in the United States.
Agents arrested all six of the vehicle’s occupants.
About an hour later and only a mile away, agents assisted with a second DPS vehicle stop, identifying four female passengers in the vehicle’s backseat. All four Mexican national women were found to be illegally present in the country.
Agents arrested the women as well as the Arizona driver and front seat passenger.
The nine Mexican nationals encountered in these human smuggling incidents were expelled from the United Stated under Title 42 authority. The three U.S. citizen smugglers were booked and subsequently released: they have not yet been formally charged with human smuggling.
Partnerships between state, local, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies create a collaborative force against transnational criminal organizations in southern Arizona, disrupting illicit activities and ensuring the safety of border communities.