2 arrested in separate attempts to smuggle $812K in drugs into Arizona

Two men were arrested in separate attempts to smuggle a combined $812,000 worth of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine into Arizona from Mexico at Nogales border crossings, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.

One Wednesday afternoon, officers at the Mariposa border crossing referred a 50-year-old Mexican man for further inspection of his Ford SUV. A Border Patrol narcotics detection canine alerted officers to a scent it was trained to detect in the vehicle’s rear quarter panel.

Officers removed several packages of drugs, later identified as almost 16 pounds of cocaine, worth more than $381,000, CBP said. 

On Wednesday evening, a 40-year-old Mesa man was referred for further inspection at the Dennis DeConcini border crossing for an addition search of his Mazda sedan. A Border Patrol canine provided officers with a positive alert and officers removed multiple packages of drugs from throughout the vehicle, Customs and Border Protection officials said. 

According to the agency, nearly 11 pounds of heroin, valued at almost $296,000, and more than 45 pounds of methamphetamine, with an estimated value of more than $135,000, were seized.

In addition to the drugs, agents also seized the vehicles involved in each arrest, officials said. 

According to Customs and Border Protection, the men were arrested and then turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. 

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