December 31, 2009
by James Gilbert
U.S. Border Patrol agents prevented another drug-smuggling attempt early Thursday morning, this time seizing more than 900 pounds of marijuana near San Luis, Ariz.
Agent Shaun Kuzia, a spokesman for the Yuma Sector, said at about 1:30 a.m., Border Patrol agents assigned to the Yuma Station observed a 1989 Ford Bronco drive up to the primary border fence several miles east of the U.S. Port of Entry at San Luis, Ariz.
When the vehicle stopped near the fence, several individuals that had been waiting atop the fence loaded large bundles into the vehicle.
"We were watching them on camera. It was pretty obvious what was going on," Kuzia said. "There is no reason for anyone to be out there because it is a pretty remote area."
The driver then sped away from the border at a high rate of speed. Despite attempts by the driver to blend in with local traffic, Border Patrol agents spotted the Bronco and tried to stop the vehicle.
"As soon as we determined they were loading marijuana into the vehicle, we began moving agents into the area to stop the vehicle," Kuzia said.
The driver failed to yield to the agents’ emergency equipment and then turned around and headed back toward the border.
Agents successfully deployed deflation spikes, flattening three of the vehicle’s tires.
The vehicle eventually came to a stop just north of the border fence where the driver and two other occupants exited the Bronco and climbed the fence into Mexico so they wouldn't be arrested.
Agents discovered 34 plastic-wrapped bundles of marijuana stuffed inside the vehicle. A total of 929 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $743,200 was seized.
The marijuana and Ford Bronco were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
During the month of December, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents prevented more than 5,000 pounds of marijuana from being smuggled into the country.