Nogales CBP officers seize pills, hard drugs and arrest 2 in smu - Tucson News Now

Nogales CBP officers seize pills, hard drugs and arrest 2 in smuggling attempts

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A man from Mexico and a woman from Phoenix have been arrested in separate incidents for attempting to smuggle drugs across the border into the U.S., according to a recent release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  

One of the incidents occurred at the Mariposa Crossing, on March 18, when CBP officers pulled a 33-year-old man over for further inspection after a K9 alerted to the possibility of drugs in the vehicle's firewall.  According to the release CBP officers found six pounds of heroin, worth an estimated $110,000 and 30 pounds of methamphetamine, worth an estimated $87,000 inside the vehicle.  

A 36-year-old woman from Phoenix was also pulled over for secondary inspection, also on March 18, but at the DeConcini crossing.  According to the CBP release officers found a small amount of methamphetamine in her purse, in addition to nearly 1,500 Oxycodone pills.  

CBP officers seized both the drugs and vehicles, while the alleged smuggling suspects were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations for further processing.  

This smuggling attempt coincides with a release from the DEA about an increase in overdose deaths tied to counterfeit Oxycodone pills that are lace with the powerful opioid Fentanyl.  

According to the DEA release the counterfeit pills are manufactured by Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTO) and sold as Oxycodone on the black market.  DEA officials state that these counterfeit pills are smuggled into the U.S. by the DTOs through Arizona, and that they have linked at least 32 deaths in Maricopa County in the last 18 months to the counterfeit pills.  

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The DEA’s Heroin Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) is examining all available reporting surrounding these deaths to pursue any investigative leads and determine the origin of the counterfeit pills and its current prevalence across the state.  Agents are seeking the assistance of the community and law enforcement to share information concerning the availability of this and any other synthetic opioids as they surface within local drug markets.  The DEA through its HEAT initiative will continue to notify the public of these new drug threats as they emerge.  

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