Nearly 750 Pounds of Weed Found Abandoned in Arizona Desert

It's been more than a week since we last got news from Border Patrol agents about some enormous amount of marijuana getting found in the Arizona desert. Frankly, we were beginning to think the drug cartels had called it quits -- then Friday happened.

Border agents from the Sonoita Station got a report then of a group of suspected illegal immigrants moving through the desert.

Agents found a set of footprints they believe came from the group, and the hunt was on.

It didn't take too long before agents stumbled across a fairly common scene in the southern Arizona desert: weed -- lots of it.

Agents found 14 bundles of weed abandoned near the Arizona/ Mexico border weighing 744 pounds and worth an extimated $600,000.

As is often the case in desert weed busts, no arrests were made.

Last month, 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 not easy. 

"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