US Border Patrol Agents Disrupt Methamphetamine Smuggling near Gila Bend, AZ

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol Agents (BPA) from Tucson Sector interdicted over 120 pounds methamphetamine concealed in the rear of a vehicle.

On June 16, 2022, agents of the Ajo Station were conducting roving patrols around Gila Bend, AZ at the junction of Interstate Route 8 (I-8) and State Route 85 (SR-85) in an area known for human and narcotics smuggling.  Smugglers frequently use this route to move narcotics from Ajo and Yuma up to Phoenix and then further into the United States.

At approximately 8:00 p.m., agents conducted a vehicle stop of a gold Honda Odyssey with multiple persons aboard.  In the vehicle was the driver and four children, all under the age of seven.

When a Border Patrol Canine conducted a free air search of the vehicle it alerted to the presence of concealed people or narcotics. A search of the rear of the vehicle, a spare tire, and a suitcase revealed over 120 pounds of white crystal-like substance wrapped in 158 plastic packages which tested positive for methamphetamine.  Also, in the vehicle agents located $635 and a Smith & Wesson 9 mm pistol, two magazines and 19 rounds of ammunition.

“Smugglers continue to exploit vulnerable populations both inside and outside the United States,” said Chief John Modlin of the Tucson Sector. “Smugglers promise easy cash in exchange for a quick trip to the border, but agents and officers are on the lookout for suspicious vehicles.  Thankfully, these agents prevented over 120 pounds of methamphetamine from making its way into communities throughout the United States.” 

The children were released to a family member while the vehicle, narcotics and weapon were turned over to the Maricopa County Drug Suppression Task Force.