Nov 13, 2013 2:34 PM by Faye DeHoff

Border agents find Chinese nationals in trunk and marijuana in a van

TUCSON - Multiple smuggling attempts at Southern Arizona checkpoints were stopped over the past weekend by Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents.

Agents first arrested three Chinese nationals and a U.S. citizen at the Interstate 19 checkpoint Friday, after a service canine and X-rays identified three adults concealed in the trunk of a sedan being driven by the U.S. citizen. This smuggling method is especially dangerous since escape from the trunk could be difficult or impossible in an emergency.

All subjects were processed for prosecution and/or removal proceedings in accordance with Tucson Sector prosecution guidelines.

On Sunday at the Highway 80 checkpoint, Tucson Sector agents arrested a U.S. citizen attempting to smuggle more than $41,000 worth of marijuana concealed in his Plymouth Chrysler van. Agents found 22 bricks of marijuana, with a combined weight exceeding 82 pounds, hidden in the rear quarter panels on both sides of the van.

The van is being processed for seizure. The driver is being held for prosecution.

Checkpoints are a critical enforcement tool in preventing illegal activity from venturing further into the United States. Checkpoint operations are vital along routes of egress from the border region.

Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous.

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