Oct 24, 2013 7:58 PM by Brian White

Border agents busy during government shutdown

The following is a release from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol:

TUCSON - In the last four weeks, the West Desert Task Force seized more than 7,600 pounds of marijuana, a stolen vehicle, firearms and illegal aliens.

Despite the recent partial government shutdown, WDTF agents using sign-cutting skills, sensors and other assets were busy gathering information and shutting down transnational criminal operations.

A few significant incidents include:

• agents responding to detection technology in the Vekol Valley area where they followed vehicle tracks leading to an abandoned Ford pickup truck - engine still running - loaded with 36 bundles of marijuana;

• finding 87 bundles of marijuana in an abandoned vehicle on the Tohono O'odham nation;

• tracking more tire tracks for several miles in the west desert leading to an abandoned, stolen vehicle filled with 80 bundles of marijuana; and

• seizing 51 additional bundles of marijuana on the Tohono O'odham nation near the village of Kaka.

The West Desert Task Force is a joint initiative between U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, and the Pinal County Sheriff's Office to combat narcotics trafficking in Arizona's west desert region. The task force is sponsored by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, and works in association with the Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats.


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