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Tucson, Ariz. — A joint effort between CBP officers and Border Patrol agents resulted in a seizure of more than 50 pounds of cocaine and 2,100 pounds of marijuana in two separate incidents during routine checkpoint operations. At approximately 10 a.m. Tuesday a Border Patrol agent working at the traffic checkpoint on Interstate 19 in Amado, Ariz. referred a vehicle to a secondary check due to inconsistencies with the driver’s immigration documents. At this time a Border Patrol K9 alerted to the possible presence of narcotics inside the vehicle. A CBP officer working along side the agents was given consent to search the vehicle and discovered a hidden compartment in the floor boards of the vehicle. A total of 26 kilograms (59 pounds) of cocaine was found inside a hidden compartment. The cocaine, with an estimated street value of over $400,000 dollars, driver and vehicle were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Later the same day at approximately 10 p.m., a Border Patrol K9 at the same Interstate 19 checkpoint alerted to the possible presence of narcotics inside a tractor trailer. Further inspection of the trailer revealed 103 bundles of marijuana hidden in a load of rotten tomatoes and squash. A total of 2,172 pounds of marijuana was seized. The marijuana, driver, and vehicle were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

In the past two weeks the Interstate 19 checkpoint has seized approximately 9,000 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of nearly $5 million. The seizures highlight the operational effectiveness of checkpoint operations in combating narcotic smuggling.

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