$1 Million in Narcotics Seized in Nogales, AZ

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers had a busy weekend at the Dennis DeConcini crossing in Nogales, Arizona.

On Friday, March 7, 2014, officers flagged a Nissan SUV, driven by 34-year-old Mexican citizen Juana Banda-Banda, for further inspection. A canine sniff gave a positive alert for narcotics near the vehicle’s spare tire. A subsequent search of this area yielded 8 packages of methamphetamine, weighing almost 12 pounds. The estimated street value of this find is $180,700.

On Saturday, March 8, 2014, officers flagged a Chrysler sedan, driven by 33-year-old Mexican citizen Mireya Justina Corrales-Aguirre, for further inspection. A canine sniff gave a positive alert for narcotics near the Chrysler’s undercarriage. Further search of this area uncovered 6 packages of heroin and 6 packages of methamphetamine concealed inside the vehicle’s frame. The heroin weighed in at 7 pounds, with an estimated street value of $102,000. The methamphetamine also weighed in at 7 pounds, with an estimated street value of $105,000.

Later that same day, a Honda sedan was also flagged for further inspection. The 30-year-old driver, Marisol Garcia-Montano of Mexico, was found to be concealing 18 packages of methamphetamine within the rocker panels of her vehicle. The packages weighed more than 15 pounds with an estimated street value of over $238,000.

On Sunday, March 9, 2014, officers at the Mariposa crossing also stopped out with Dodge SUV. Following a positive canine alert for narcotics, officers uncovered 21 packages of methamphetamine concealed inside the cargo area. The methamphetamine weighed in at almost 26 pounds, with an approximate street value of over $398,000.

All four of the drivers were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements’ Homeland Security Investigations. Their drugs and vehicles were seized.

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