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Contraband
02/10/2010

ICE agents thwart Nogales 1.75 ton marijuana smuggling attempt

NOGALES, Ariz. - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents seized nearly 3,500 pounds of marijuana concealed in a tractor-trailer carrying squash late on Tuesday.

Acting immediately on a tip about the mysterious appearance of a semitrailer at a Rio Rico, Ariz., warehouse facility, agents responded to the scene and established surveillance on the trailer. During the course of the investigation, ICE agents discovered there was no truck associated with the trailer or driver in the vicinity; the trailer appeared to be out of place.

Agents obtained consent from the warehouse manager to break the seal securing the trailer door and conduct a consent search. Agents discovered 156 vacuum-sealed packages hidden among the squash. They probed several packages which revealed a green-leafy substance that later field tested positive for marijuana. Agents emptied the trailer and turned the squash over to the consignee.

The marijuana and trailer were seized and transported to the vault and cargo facility at the Mariposa Port of Entry. The total weight of the marijuana was 3,470 pounds with an estimated street value of $7.6 million.

No arrests have yet been made in this ongoing investigation.