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Contraband
06/15/2010

ICE seizes more than 3 tons of pot at Tucson home

TUCSON, Ariz. - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents seized more than 7,200 pounds of marijuana Monday following an investigation into a suspected stash house operating in Tucson's foothills.

During the course of a narcotics smuggling investigation, agents identified a residence located near Alvernon and River roads that they suspected was being used as a stash house. Agents watched the home for several days and on Monday observed a GMC Yukon towing an 18-foot trailer pull into the driveway. Agents saw two suspects climb out of the truck and flee into the desert. ICE agents, assisted by the Pima County Sheriff's canine unit, attempted to track the suspects through the desert, but were unable to locate them.

After obtaining a search warrant, agents discovered approximately 5,500 pounds of marijuana in the trailer and another 1,700 pounds in the residence. Agents also found a sophisticated repackaging system in the house, indicating the residence played host to a significant smuggling operation.

"This is the largest narcotics seizure ICE has made in Arizona this year," said Rick Crocker, ICE deputy special agent in charge of Tucson. "From the evidence we found, it is clear that the house played a major role in this smuggling organization's enterprise."

The house, owned by a local Tucson businessman, was rented out to a Mexican citizen by a property management company. Agents generated a wealth of information about the smuggling organization during the search and are continuing to investigate possible suspects.