Agents seize meth, a gun, and illegal migrants in various incidents around Yuma this week

Contributed Photo/Courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Agents seized more than 100 pounds of meth from backpackers in the desert south of Dateland.  

Contributed Article/Courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection

YUMA – Agents in the Yuma Sector have been busy this week, with multiple drug, weapon, and illegal migrant incidents. 

On Tuesday, Wellton Border Patrol agents thwarted their third major bust in three days. The methamphetamine smuggling attempt occurred in the desert south of Dateland, Arizona. 

At approximately 9:30 a.m., agents detected, tracked and apprehended a group of six migrants attempting to smuggle 109 pounds of methamphetamine in backpacks. When agents encountered the group in the Mohawk valley east of the Sierra Pinta Mountains, the migrants tried to flee the area. A Yuma Air Branch air interdiction agent monitored the migrants and guided agents on the ground to their location.  

All migrants in the group were arrested and transported to the Wellton station for further processing and the methamphetamine, which has an estimated value of $196,000, was seized.

Agents intercept smuggling attempt on Colorado River

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents intercepted a smuggling attempt on the Colorado River Monday morning.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Nine illegal migrants were taken into custody during a smuggling attempt on the Colorado River.

At approximately 9 a.m., agents conducted a consensual encounter of a suspicious boat at the Martinez Lake Marina and discovered nine migrants inside. The migrants appeared to be using the Colorado River to bypass immigration checkpoints.

Divers with the Border, Search, Trauma and Rescue team conducted a search of the water and recovered potential evidence.  

The two suspected smugglers, who are both from Mexico, face smuggling charges. The remaining seven migrants are being processed for removal under Title 42.

Agents find drugs, gun following canine alert

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents found meth, marijuana and a loaded handgun in a vehicle at the immigration checkpoint on Highway 95 Wednesday following a canine alert.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection: This gun was seized during the drug smuggling attempt.

At 2:45 p.m., agents encountered a Chevrolet Malibu as it traversed through the checkpoint and referred it to the secondary inspection due to the canine alert.

While in secondary, the canine alerted to the interior of the vehicle and during a subsequent search, agents found nearly one-half pound of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a loaded 9mm handgun. Agents also conducted a search incident to arrest on the two vehicle occupants, who were both U.S. citizens, and found 6.5 grams of methamphetamine in the driver’s pocket. The driver, a 38-year-old female from Colorado, and the passenger, a 41-year-old male from California, were arrested and the drugs, drug paraphernalia and handgun were seized.

Border Patrol canines are trained to detect concealed humans and the odors of marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy. Although marijuana was recently legalized in the state of Arizona, it is still federally illegal and seized when encountered at federal immigration checkpoints.