Record Broken for Largest Failed Pot-Smuggling Attempt in Arizona
Today in Found at the border: There's a new all-time record for the largest unsuccessful pot-smuggling attempt in Arizona.
The previous record was set in January, when a Mexican man attempted to drive 14,121 pounds of pot -- with an estimated value of $7.1 million -- through the port of entry in Nogales.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman says details on this bust will be released at a press conference tomorrow afternoon, but says this haul was worth more than $10.1 million.
Assuming CBP hasn't changed its pot-valuing system, then this load would be more than 20,000 pounds.
This weed was driven through the same port in Nogales, the Mariposa Port, where the previous record-holder got busted. That man had the goods hidden in cardboard boxes among what was supposed to look like a legitimate load of steel.
Federal court records don't show any recent arrests for large pot busts, but that system usually takes a few days to update.
Before this year, the largest pot bust at an Arizona border port was 12,000 pounds of pot, recovered in 2010.
From CBP's press office:
A tractor-trailer load of Mexican squash, co-mingled with a $10.1 million shipment of marijuana, was stopped at the Port of Nogales Wednesday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Mariposa commercial facility.
Pedro Corona-Moreno, 32, of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, was referred for a routine inspection of his load of produce as he was entering the United States. When the shipment was offloaded, a CBP canine alerted to the presence of marijuana...881 bundles of it weighing 20,375 pounds.
Wednesday's seizure surpasses Arizona's previous record of 14,121 pounds of marijuana - $7.1 million worth -- seized Jan. 15 of this year.
The tractor-trailer, drugs and produce were processed for seizure. The driver was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
Send feedback and tips to the author.
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.