Border Patrol Nabs More Than 4,100 Pounds of Weed -- Worth About $3.3 Million -- Over Memorial Day Weekend

While you may have been busy grilling burgers over Memorial Day weekend, Border Patrol agents in southern Arizona were on the prowl for weed coming across the border, which, of course, they found in huge quantities. 

Over the long weekend, agents seized more than 4,100 pounds of marijuana in four separate busts on Saturday and Sunday and -- as is often the case in weed busts in the middle of the desert -- they didn't make a single arrest.

The two biggest busts of the weekend both happened on Saturday when agents found more than 3,000 pounds of weed worth what they say is about $2.5 million.

Early Saturday, agents responded to a "suspicious vehicle" driving off-road near the Ajo Station.

Agents followed tire tracks until they found the vehicle abandoned but full of 137 bundles of weed -- about 1,900 pounds worth more than $1.5 million.

The second largest bust this weekend wasn't really a bust at all -- agents just sort of stumbled upon 1,084 pounds of pot while on routine patrol in the Sasabe area.

No arrests were made in either seizure.

Last week, we spoke to Border Agent David Jimarez after a similar series of busts also yielded no arrests. Jimarez says even when agents see the suspects, apprehending them is no easy task. 

"The cartels always have the upper hand on us," Jimarez says. "They have scouts and whenever agents approach, the suspects already know we're coming."

Jimarez says when agents find a truck or large quantity of weed, they can't abandon it to track down suspects and often have to wait as long as 30 minutes before back up arrives.

The slow response time, Jimarez says, is because of the huge area agents are responsible for patrolling.

The solution, Jimarez says, is something he calls "the proper mix" of technology, infrastructure (or in the words of John McCain "the danged fence"), and personnel.

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James King
Contact: James King