Seizure values increased over August and September totals

November 2, 2016

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers kept more than $3.2 million worth of illegal hard drugs off of America’s streets in October 2016 by finding and seizing them at the Nogales international border ports of entry.

The total represents an increase of more than $61,000 in estimated drug values over total September seizures of $3,16 million, and an increase of more than $1 million over the total August seizures of $2.2 million.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media releases, discoveries and subsequent seizures of hard drugs were made on 15 of the 31 days of October.

Affected Ports of Entry

There were 22 drug busts in October at the Nogales DeConcini, Morley and Mariposa border stations that involved the confiscation of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin with a combined value of $3,226,900.

Six busts were made at the Mariposa crossing, 15 arrests were made at the DeConcini crossing and one individual was arrested at the Morley pedestrian border crossing.

Vehicles and Pedestrians

The majority of smuggling attempts, 18 (82%), were made using vehicles. The average value of drugs in vehicular drug smuggling attempts was $173,639.00.

The other four trafficking attempts (18%) were done by pedestrians attempting to walk drugs across the border. The average value of drugs in thwarted pedestrian attempts was $25,350.00.

The Drugs

Of the 22 Nogales border drug busts made in October, drugs involved were:

Methamphetamine: seized in 17 of the busts (77%) – 454 lbs., with a value of $1,364,400

Cocaine: found in nine of the attempts (41%) – 105 pounds, with a value of $1,183,000

Heroin: seized in six of the border busts (27%) – 31 pounds, with a value of $515,500

Combined meth, coke and heroin (not individually itemized): valued at $164,000.

All reported drug interdictions involved the attempted smuggling of hard drugs, there were no reported marijuana seizures.

The People

A total of 23 smuggling suspects were arrested at the Nogales international border in October (one was a passenger in a seized vehicle). Nine of the suspects apprehended were women and 14 were men.

The youngest alleged smuggler was 17 years old, the oldest was 63. Average age of the detainees was 34.5, with a median age of 31.

Nine of the detainees were Americans, from Tucson, Phoenix, Sahuarita, Rio Rico and Nogales, Arizona. One was from Lynwood, California and one was living south of the border in Santa Ana, Sonora.

The other 14 were Mexicans, from Hermosillo, Magdalena de Kino, Altar and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.

All vehicles and drugs were seized, and the suspects were arrested and turned over to the U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations unit.


The number of busts listed by the type of drug seized is greater than the total of the 22 seizures, because some of the arrests involved more than one type of illegal drugs.

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