Nogales Border Drug Busts

A Compilation of the Latest Drug Smuggling Stories
A CBP marijuana seizure from August 2016. Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Meth hidden in tortillas carried by a 62-year-old Nogales, AZ man

Nogales Drug Smuggling and Border Crime


Nogales, Arizona is a major international destination for illegal drugs crossing the southern border into the United States. In fact, it seems like every week there is another huge drug bust at the Mexican border at Nogales.

This has especially been true since the expansion of the Mariposa Port of Entry, which has not only facilitated the flow of products into Arizona from south of the border, but also an increased volume of illicit drugs, as entire drug stash warehouses have been discovered on both sides of the border, in Nogales, Mexico and Nogales, Arizona.

Nogales border drug interdiction news stories can be sad and sensational. Using elderly women and children as drug mules. Entire semi loads of marijuana hidden under watermelons or other produce. Individuals who swallow condoms filled with drugs or hide them inside of body orifices.

But as the official reports of drug seizures become more frequent and receive wide distribution and news media coverage, it becomes more difficult to gauge their cumulative impact. Sensational amounts of drug seizures are replaced by even new records for drug hauls, individual stories that do not show the consolidated impact of the international drug smuggling efforts.

That is why, in August of 2016, we began to track the published reports of Nogales border drug interdictions and present them in one place – here, in this blog. This way, rather than just chasing the random drug seizure headlines, you can see an ongoing stream of the history of drug busts. We will also publish summaries, potential trends and other analyses, to make this the best source of information regarding the border drug apprehension efforts and successes in the Nogales border region.

Mid-December Nogales Drug Busts Total $923k

184 Pounds of Heroin, Coke, Meth and Marijuana January 27, 2017 From Sunday, December 11 to Friday, December 16, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized a combined 184 pounds of drugs with a total estimated value of approximately $923,000. On December 11, CBP...

read more

Three Early December 2016 Nogales Hard Drug Seizures for $565k

80 Pounds of Meth, Coke and Heroin January 27, 2017 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers started the month of December 2016 with three drug seizures at the Mariposa and DeConcini Nogales international ports of entry. The drug interdictions netted nearly 80...

read more

Cross-Border Marijuana Load Intercepted, Seized Near Nogales

Joint Border Patrol – Air and Marine Operations (AMO) Effort November 22, 2016 A joint operational effort by the U.S. Border Patrol and Air and Marine Operations (AMO) netted a major haul of marijuana that was seized near Nogales after it was abandoned by fleeing drug...

read more

Pimsleur Spanish

More than 128 pounds of meth hidden in the tires of a GMC truck

Nearly 25lbs of meth was discovered in a Volkswagen sedan driven by a Nogales, Mexico man