BP agents nab 14 alleged drug smugglers, seize marijuana
U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Yuma Sector arrested 14 suspected drug smugglers and seized 452 pounds of marijuana Wednesday. In a separate incident on the same day, they also arrested two Mexican nationals who were believed to be scouting routes for future smuggling attempts.
According to Agent Kyle Estes of the Yuma Sector Communications Division, agents patrolling the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge spotted a group of 14 men carrying large backpacks of marijuana and took them into custody.
“With temperatures being cooler this time of year, you are going to see bigger groups and more of them coming through,” Estes said.
The marijuana had an estimated street value of $226,000.
In a separate incident, agents arrested two male Mexican nationals found in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument area carrying equipment commonly used by smuggling organizations to scout and then guide larger groups through the area.
“They go out and do recon,” Estes said. “A huge part of what they are looking for is agent activity in the area.”
Estes explained that some of the equipment commonly carried by these scouts includes cell phones, radios, night vision goggles and camping gear.
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 any suspicious activity. Callers can remain anonymous.