Border Patrol Agents Cracking Down On Marijuana More Than Ever

By jholmes800 · Dec 5, 2006 ·
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    Drug smugglers are having a harder time getting marijuana past border patrol agents. In October and November agents seized 124,000 pounds of marijuana. That's 24 % more than the same two months last year. This is coming off a record fiscal year for pot seizures and agents say they're on track to set another record.
    It's no secret, marijuana is a big business in Arizona. Border patrol agents seize more marijuana here than any other place in the country. "Ranging all the way from Douglas to Ajo, Arizona so it's a fairly big sector and it's a big area to cover, a lot of mountainous terrain, nooks and crannies that they can try and bring these drugs into," explains Senior Patrol Agent Jim Hawkins.
    Since October, agents have busted a record amount of pot. That's nearly $100 million of marijuana off the streets. "It's a huge deal because it is showing them that yes they can have a good year in marijuana culture but we will catch it," says Agent Shannon Stevens.
    "We'll typically bust the marijuana smugglers through our normal patrolling procedures, we use technology to detect entries and good old fashioned tracking skills," says Hawkins.
    Agents tell us the National Guard has helped cover more ground. Colder months mean less illegal immigrants crossing the border, that allows agents to focus more on marijuana."They'll load it into cars as much as they can, we've got thousands of pounds of marijuana out of vehicles where they just put it into cellophane and pack it in," says Stevens.
    These marijuana busts don't always mean smugglers are caught. Sometimes agents find it in abandoned homes where it's waiting for a dealer. Agents say breaking smuggling rings will help curb other crimes as well. "Narcotics smuggling is tied in with alien smuggling as well and all smuggling activity has a lot of crime opportunity associated with it," says Hawkins.
    "Just to know that even if we slow it down to a small amount it might make a difference," adds Stevens.
    In case you're wondering, all drugs agents seize is turned over to the DEA and they destroy it. The U.S. Attorney decides charges smugglers face on a case by case basis.

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