NOGALES, Ariz. — Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) interdicted a large drug smuggling attempt Monday, seizing nearly a ton of marijuana from a stash house in Rio Rico.
During the course of a drug smuggling investigation, members of the HSI-led Santa Cruz County High Intensity Drug Trafficking (HIDTA) Investigative Task Force developed information Monday that a residence in Rio Rico was being used as a staging area for smuggled drugs. Task force members, along with officers from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office and the Nogales Police Department, responded to the property to initiate surveillance, and subsequently obtained consent from the homeowner to search the house. Inside, authorities discovered 75 bundles of marijuana, weighing more than 1,800 pounds.
No arrests have yet been made in the case, which remains under investigation.
The Santa Cruz County HIDTA Investigation Task Force is a multi-agency investigative and interdiction unit in Nogales that combats organized crime in Santa Cruz County by targeting drug trafficking organizations and providers, local distributors, stash houses and drug transportation cells. The task force is comprised of full-time members from HSI, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Border Patrol, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, the Santa Cruz County Attorney's Office and the Nogales Police Department.