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Police and Law Enforcement Home  >  Police News  >  800 Pounds of Pot Seized


800 Pounds of Pot Seized by Customs and Border Officers

Police and Law Enforcement News

Monday, October 22, 2007 5:10 a.m.

(Official Customs Press Release) More than 800 pounds of marijuana will not make it onto the streets of the United States since U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers at the Douglas Port of Entry found it hidden in the walls of a tractor-trailer yesterday morning.

At around 11:00 in the morning, CBP Officers performing routine screening of commercial vehicles and drivers entering the United States at the Douglas port of entry noticed discrepancies in an empty tractor-trailer. To speed up the inspection process and reduce the amount of time the vehicle and driver might have had to wait, they chose to perform an inspection of the trailer using their Vehicle And Container Inspection System (VACIS) to look at the structure of the vehicle and detect any anomalies. During the inspection, they noticed something unusual with the trailer, which prompted them to remove portions of the walls, revealing 1,130 packages of what proved to be marijuana hidden inside. The narcotics (803 pounds), tractor, and trailer were all seized. The driver, a 28-year-old man from Agua Prieta, was arrested and turned over to agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Estimated street value of the marijuana in Arizona is between $800,000 and $2.5 million.

This is the largest narcotics seizure at the Douglas port of entry this fiscal year. Since October 1st of 2006, CBP officers at the port have stopped 55 attempts to smuggle marijuana into the United States, seizing at total of almost 5000 pounds of marijuana. Estimated street value for the illicit drugs seized is almost $16 million.

The Vehicle And Container Inspection System (VACIS) is a sophisticated technological system that allows Customs and Border Protection officers to see an image of a vehicle’s structure, looking for hidden compartments and contraband. The system, similar to an X-Ray, permits them to quickly perform a more in-depth inspection without having to do anything intrusive to the vehicle, such as drilling or removing pieces. It is also much quicker than completely emptying a vehicle or dismantling it to search for contraband, reducing the amount of time vehicles and drivers have to wait during an inspection.

The Office of Field Operations is responsible for operations at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers’ primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, and protecting the nation’s food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.



Police and Law Enforcement News

Monday, October 22, 2007 5:10 a.m.

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