Local

Sep 27, 2013 1:56 PM by Faye DeHoff

ICE seizes load of pot and a horse near Nogales

NOGALES, ARIZONA - More than 2,900 pounds of marijuana was seized from a horse trailer on Highway 82 near Nogales by authorities with the Santa Cruz County High Intensity Drug Trafficking (HIDTA) Investigative Task Force.

The task force is led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

During the course of a drug smuggling investigation, the task force learned that a vehicle traveling south on Highway 82 from Patagonia to Nogales was pulling a horse trailer possibly loaded with marijuana. Task force members, along with deputies from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, began surveillance in the area and observed a vehicle pulling a horse trailer failing to stay in its lane. A sheriff's deputy pulled the vehicle over, and as soon as the vehicle came to a stop, the male driver fled the scene. He remains at large.

Inside the vehicle and horse trailer, authorities discovered 116 bundles of marijuana, weighing more than 2,900 pounds, as well as a horse.

No arrests have yet been made in the case, which remains under investigation. The horse was turned over to Santa Cruz County Animal Control.

The Santa Cruz County HIDTA Investigation Task Force is a multi-agency investigative and interdiction unit in Nogales that combats organized crime in Santa Cruz County by targeting drug trafficking organizations and providers, local distributors, stash houses and drug transportation cells. The task force is comprised of full-time members from HSI, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Border Patrol, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, the Santa Cruz County Attorney's Office and the Nogales Police Department.

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