183 pounds of pot seized
U.S. Border Patrol agents from Yuma Sector's Wellton Station seized approximately 183 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $91,500, and arrested seven suspected drug smugglers on Monday.
According to Agent Spencer Tippets of the Yuma Sector Public Affairs Office, agents were patrolling west of Gila Bend when they detected a group of suspected illegal immigrants who were traveling through the desert on foot.
Tippets said after tracking the footprints, agents eventually apprehended seven suspected smugglers who were carrying makeshift burlap backpacks of marijuana.
“For (the smugglers) to have made it as far as they had, they had to have spent some time in the desert,” Tippets said. “That area is a good distance from the border.”
The suspected smugglers and marijuana were turned over to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
The area where the apprehension and seizure occurred, Tippets explained, is south of Gila Bend and in what is known as “the seam,” which is where the Yuma Sector ends and the Tucson Sector begins. Oftentimes, because the Yuma Sector has operational control of its border, Yuma agents assist Tucson agents in the area.
Tippets also said that because temperatures are getting cooler now, agents typically see a slight increase in activity this time of year.
“It's still not drastic, the numbers are still low,” Tippets said.