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220 Pounds of Marijuana Found in Desert South of Yuma -- Not by You; Agents Prepare for Seasonal Ponche-Ingredient Smuggling

Yuma Border Patrol agents on Wednesday found about 220 pounds of marijuana in the desert south of Dateland -- we'll bet some of you wish you did, too.

But Agent Ken Quillan advises against going on your own "treasure" hunt, despite the fact that smugglers do occasionally drop loads of dope in the desert to avoid possible capture. Besides the risk of getting busted by the ever-roving border cops, the smugglers might learn you discovered their product and go after you, he says.

Not that he's ever heard of something like that happening, he's quick to add. Sometimes, hikers, ATV'ers or hunters find remains of illegal immigrants who perished on a desert crossing, though, Quillan says.

"Anything you encounter out there, if you're not sure what it is, call it in to local authorities," he says.

Smugglers who throw off their loads pose legal obstacles for agents, but "investigative techniques" by the Border Patrol can be revealing.

"If you've been out there for several days hiking with a 65-pound pack on, I imagine that would leave some marks on you," Quillan says.

In other border news announced today:

* Ajo Station agents nabbed a 32-year-old Nicaraguan man on suspicion of illegally entering the country, then discovered by his fingerprints that he'd served six years in prison for a Wisconsin DUI-related fatal collision he'd caused.

* Customs officials want to warn people not to smuggle into the United States any of the ingredients for ponche, a popular holiday fruit-drink. It's made of "guavas, Hawthorn apples (tejocotes) and sugar cane," says the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in a news release. All of those items are illegal to bring into the country due to risk of fruit flies and other insect pests.

Can't you get those things at Food City? Something to try this season...


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