Lukeville, Ariz. — Two women were arrested yesterday in separate incidents for allegedly attempting to smuggle nearly $106,000 worth of marijuana into the United States through the Lukeville Port.
Customs and Border Protection officers referred Maria Del Refugio Gonzalez, 37, of Rocky Point, Mexico, for secondary inspection of her Toyota truck when she attempted to enter the United States. During a routine search of the vehicle, officers located 102 packages of marijuana inside the truck’s spare tire and cargo area. The drugs, weighing nearly 123 pounds, have an estimated value of more than $64,000.
Last night, officers referred Cruz Urbina Hernandez, 47, of Tempe, Ariz., and traveling with her children, for a secondary inspection of her Dodge SUV when she attempted to enter the United States. Officers searching the vehicle located 27 packages of marijuana weighing 83 pounds, and valued at nearly $42,000, hidden in the spare tire and doors.
In each incident, the vehicles and drugs were processed for seizure. Gonzalez and Hernandez were arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations. Gonzalez’ children were released without further incident.
Individuals arrested may be charged by complaint, the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Customs and Border Protection tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.