September 30 drug arrests and the September wrap-up

September 30, 2016

The last two September Nogales border drug busts occurred on the last day of the month. A 59-year-old Mexican national driving a Nissan sedan was flagged for secondary inspection at the DeConcini Port of Entry. There, a drug-detection dog assisted Customs and Border Protection officials in locating a stash of methamphetamine and cocaine worth $183,000 hidden in his vehicle.

The second border drug apprehension was at the Morley Pedestrian Crossing, where a 14-year-old girl from Nogales, Arizona who was crossing on foot was found to have a package containing a pound of methamphetamine taped to her groin area, under her clothing. The drugs had a value of almost $3,200.

The vehicle and drugs were seized, and both suspects were arrested and referred to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations unit.

September Drug Busts at the Nogales International Ports of Entry

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media releases, there were 16 drug busts made at Nogales Ports of Entry in September of 2016, with a total of more than $3.15 million in heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana seized.

Ports Affected

Of the 16 apprehensions, 10 involved attempted smuggling of hard drugs in a vehicle, five were at pedestrian crossings and two were individuals traveling in a vehicle with drugs hidden on their bodies.

Ten arrests were made at the DeConcini Port of Entry, three at the Mariposa Port of Entry and three at the Morley gate in downtown Nogales.

Arrestee Demographics

Four of the alleged smugglers were American citizens, from one from Phoenix and the other three from Nogales, Sonora. The other 12 were Mexican nationals from the Sonoran cities of Nogales, Ures, Santa Ana and Hermosillo, and from the city of Culiacan, Sinaloa.

Ten of the alleged smugglers were men, and six were women. The average age of September arrestees was 29.6 years old. The youngest was 14 and the oldest 78.

Drug Totals

The breakdown of drug types and estimated values is:

  • Methamphetamine only – 10 seizures totaling 19.45 pounds, with an estimated value of $521,200
  • Cocaine only – One seizure of 160 pounds with a value of $1,800,000
  • Heroin only – One seizure of 0.75 pounds with a value of $12,000
  • Marijuana only – One seizure of 122 pounds with an estimated value of $61,000
  • Combined Meth and Heroin: One seizure of 50 pounds with an estimated value of $364,000
  • Combined Meth, Cocaine and Heroin: One seizure with a combined value of $346,600
  • Combined Cocaine and Meth: One seizure with a combined value of $55,000


The number of busts listed by drug is greater than 16 because some of the arrests involved more than one type of illegal drugs.

Amounts are mutually exclusive; some totals are combined drugs because the individual amounts and values were not enumerated.

Quantities and values are based on reported numbers, which were qualified by phrases like “nearly” or “more than” rather than reporting specific amounts. Therefore, these numbers may have some slight variation with the specific qualities and dollar values.