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Yuma area sees two big pot busts
Almost 2,000 pounds of marijuana was seized in the Yuma area on Wednesday in two separate occasions.
The first find came during the morning hours when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents came across two sport utility vehicles entering the United States illegally through the sand dunes west of Yuma, said Lauren Mack, ICE spokeswoman.
Mack said the agents were able to stop both vehicles without incident and take both drivers into custody.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the exact weight of the marijuana was not available, but Mack said one of the vehicles was carrying more than 700 pounds and it was estimated there would be between 1,100 and 1,500 pounds.
She said the seizures were a culmination of an ICE investigation that most likely began when agents from Imperial County received intelligence reports that suggested drug smuggling was taking place at the dunes.
Though Mack said the Wednesday seizures involved only ICE agents, sources told The Sun both U.S. Border Patrol agents and California Highway Patrol officers rendered assistance.
Sources also said one of the drivers is a U.S. citizen and the other is from Mexico.
A few hours after the sand dunes find, a Yuma sector Border Patrol pilot spotted a 1998 Chevrolet Tahoe, which was stolen out of Scottsdale, parked in the far east desert, approximately 40 miles south of Tacna, said Joe Brigman, spokesman for the Yuma Sector of the Border Patrol.
Brigman said the pilot followed a fresh set of tire tracks from the border to where the vehicle had been parked and hidden under thick brush in an apparent attempt to camouflage the vehicle, which was carrying 26 large bricks that weighed 608 pounds.
The pilot then called for ground support which came in the form of Wellton agents that found the drugs and performed a search of the vehicle's perimeter for any signs of the person or people who drove the vehicle the approximately 25 miles north from the border.
Both the vehicle and the drugs were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Louie Villalobos can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6858.