U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) seized nearly 13 pounds of methamphetamine this week near Amado, Ariz.
An HSI agent, working with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Border Patrol, found the drugs after a suspected drug smuggling vehicle was stopped in Nogales as it traveled north on Interstate 19 (I-19) toward Tucson.
The vehicle was transported to the I-19 checkpoint where a canine alerted positively. Border Patrol agents used non-intrusive inspection technology to scan the vehicle and further scrutiny led to the discovery of nearly 13 pounds of methamphetamine, with an estimated value of $233,000 hidden within the vehicle.
HSI agents arrested the driver, an 18-year-old lawful permanent resident from Mexico, on federal felony charges related to the possession of narcotics with the intent to distribute.
In March 2009, the Department of Homeland Security launched the Southwest Border Initiative to bring unprecedented focus and intensity to securing the Southwest border, coupled with a reinvigorated, smart, and effective approach to enforcing our immigration laws.