U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Yuma Sector arrested an illegal entrant who had previously been convicted of vehicular manslaughter, seized more than half-a-million dollars worth of marijuana and captured 14 drug smugglers in separate incidents happening within three days.
According to agent Kyle Estes of the Yuma Sector Communications Division, on Thursday agents working the Interstate 8 checkpoint near Spot Road checkpoint sent a truck to secondary inspection after a canine team alerted to the vehicle.
When the vehicle was searched, over 12 pounds of marijuana was discovered in a hidden compartment. The driver, a United States citizen, was taken into custody.
Later the same day, agents patrolling in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge apprehended a Mexican national found guarding a stash of 409 pounds of marijuana in Davidson Canyon.
On Wednesday, Wellton Station agents working the same checkpoint arrested a Mexican national in possession of a fraudulent visa. Upon further records checks, agents also discovered the man was an aggravated felon who had previously been convicted and deported from San Bernardino, Calif.
Then on Tuesday, agents using night-vision equipment located and arrested two groups of smugglers allegedly carrying marijuana through the desert southwest of Gila Bend.
The first group consisted of seven smugglers reportedly carrying 317 pounds; the second group of five with 292 pounds. Both groups followed known smuggling routes through the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
Yuma County residents can help the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling 1-866-999-8727 toll-free to report suspicious activity. Callers can remain anonymous.