Three arrested in one ton pot bust

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations arrested three suspects who attempted to smuggle more than one ton of marijuana in Nogales, Ariz.

Members of the Santa Cruz County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Investigative Task Force and the Arizona Department of Public Safety conducted a rolling surveillance in a suspected contraband smuggling area on May 15, according to a news release. They noticed a vehicle had committed a moving violation and the agents initiated a traffic stop.

Through a consensual search of the white Dodge Cargo van, officials discovered more than 932 pounds of marijuana in boxes, and two suspects were arrested.

Upon further investigation, the suspects provided information that led agents to a warehouse where an additional 1,370 pounds of marijuana were discovered and a third suspect was apprehended.

"Through hard work and patience, HSI agents are identifying the criminal organizations smuggling narcotics through the Nogales area and are holding them responsible for their illicit activities," said Eric Balliet, assistant special agent in charge of HSI Nogales. "We will continue to target their workers, their vehicles and their stash houses until these smuggling organizations have no place left to operate in Nogales."

The drugs were seized and trafficking charges were pending as the investigation continues.

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