Friday, August 9, 2013



Note:  Pharmaceutical import business continues to be very active in AZ.  Little to nothing released about illegal immigration, despite activity noted in AZMEX ACTIVITY reports.  Heavy, for AZ, rains in July slowed activities somewhat.  Flooded washes hinder transportation.  

Task force seizes $7.2M in marijuana in Arizona
By Associated Press
Originally published: Aug 7, 2013 - 5:59 pm

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Federal authorities in southern Arizona say they've seized more than $7 million worth of marijuana.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say a task force found five abandoned vehicles early Wednesday near the village of Ventana on the Tohono O'odham Nation.

They found 683 bundles of marijuana inside the vehicles. The marijuana was estimated to weigh almost 14,500 pounds with a street value of $7.2 million.

The vehicles were seized and the marijuana turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Authorities say the West Desert Task Force is a joint effort between U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and the Pinal County Sheriff's Department.

Their goal is to combat narcotics trafficking in the west desert region of Arizona.


Border officials in Nogales seize nearly $591K in cocaine
by Tami Hoey
Posted on August 8, 2013 at 1:39 PM
Updated today at 1:45 PM

NOGALES, Ariz. -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have arrested a Mexican national at the Port of Nogales for reportedly attempting to smuggle nearly 65 pounds of cocaine into the United States.
Gaston Delacruz Arriaga-Barrigan, 61, of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico was trying to cross the border in Nogales when officers stopped him, and began to search his Chevrolet sedan.
After a drug-sniffing dog alerted officers to the presence of drugs behind the passenger's side headlight, officers removed 27 packages of cocaine worth nearly $591,000.
The drugs and vehicle were processed for seizure. Arriaga-Barrigan was referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
CBP's Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel.


Note:  St. David a few miles south of Benson & I-10

New crime-fighting team makes drug bust southeast of Tucson
3 hours ago  •  Kimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star

A new border-area crime-fighting team is already making an impact.

A little before 7 Wednesday morning members of the newly formed Southeastern Arizona Border Region Enforcement Team (S.A.B.R.E.) conducted a traffic stop on Sibyl Road and Highway 80 near St. David.

Inside the 1990 recreational vehicle, they found 462 pounds of marijuana, Carol Capas, spokeswoman for the Cochise County Sheriff's Office, said in a news release.

The RV was impounded and the driver, 49-year-old Cynthia Leroux of California, was booked into the Cochise County jail. She faces one count of transportation of marijuana and two counts of possession of marijuana, Capas said.

Man nabbed on weapons charge at border
August 08, 2013 10:30 PM

A California man was arrested at the U.S. Port of Entry at San Luis, Ariz., Tuesday on a warrant in connection with a weapons charge issued out of central California.

Customs and Border Protection officers referred 20-year-old Jose Miguel Nieto Almanza, of Castroville, Calif., to a secondary inspection area when he attempted to enter the United States through a pedestrian lane. He was taken into custody after a routine record check disclosed an active arrest warrant by authorities in Monterey County for a weapons offense that took place last month in Salinas, Calif. Police in San Luis confirmed the warrant and took custody of Nieto.

In fiscal year 2012, CBP officers at Arizona ports arrested 401 people wanted for crimes such as murder, rape, assault, robbery and other criminal activity. More than 6,000 individuals were identified as inadmissible due to national security, insufficient or fraudulent documents and other relevant concerns.

9th Circuit vacates conviction for invalid search
By Associated Press
Originally published: Aug 8, 2013 - 4:45 pm

TUCSON, Ariz. -- A federal appeals court has vacated the conviction of a man in southern Arizona because of an invalid search involving a drug-sniffing dog.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a district court must decide whether prosecutors can establish the reliability of the trained canine or Jonathan Michael Thomas should get a new trial.

Thomas was arrested in February 2010 at a Border Patrol checkpoint after about 150 pounds of marijuana was found in a locked toolbox in his truck. He eventually was sentenced to 30 months of incarceration.

Thomas appealed, saying the search violated his Fourth Amendment rights that prohibit unreasonable searches and seizures.

He says the dog failed to indicate that it smelled drugs in the toolbox and was led on by the border agent-handler.


Douglas receives over 10 inches of rain
By Bruce Whetten
Douglas Dispatch
Published/Last Modified on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 11:48 AM MDT

Douglas closed out the month of July with a significant record of rain.

According to the National Weather Service this past July was the all-time wettest month ever recorded with 10.23 inches of rain fall recorded.

The average rain fall Douglas experiences in a month is 3.15 inches.

August began with more monsoonal activity. A early morning storm dumped over an inch of rain in town and this time did cause some considerable flood damage.

According to Douglas Fire Chief Mario Novoa there was considerable flooding at the La Perrilla Estates on Leslie Canyon Road.

A considerable amount of water from north of Golf Course Road caused some homes in the area to suffer water/flood damage.

Chief Novoa did confirm that at least four homes sustained damage.

There was also a swift water rescue in a wash just before the turnoff to the Douglas Golf Course Thursday morning.

The chief said an unidentified female drove through the wash when her car stalled.

Douglas police and fire responded to the scene to assist with the rescue and traffic control. The driver of the vehicle was removed from her vehicle by DFD personnel without incident or injury. 


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