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US-Mexico operation nets more than 450 arrests, $12.5M in marijuana

PHOENIX — A cooperative operation between the United States and Mexico put more than 450 people behind bars and resulted in the seizure of more than $12.5 million worth of marijuana.

The operation — known as Double Threat in the U.S. and Relampago Azul in Mexico — took place between April 17 and April 30.

The mission was coordinated by the Tucson Sector’s Foreign Operations Branch, which saw a combined effort from both U.S. and Mexican authorities to disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations.

“The binational operation shows how the integration of information and mirrored enforcement can further secure our borders,” Tucson Sector Chief Paul Beeson said in a press release. “Some of these drugs were seized in Mexico before they even had a chance to cross the border and further endanger our communities.

“Our ability to work in a coordinated fashion with our law enforcement partners in Mexico contributes to a safer border environment for us all.”

The combined effort resulted in a 44 percent drop in illegal entries around Nogales, Ariz., according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection press release.

Additionally, 11 stolen vehicles found in Mexico were identified, and $250,000 in U.S. dollars and $16,392 worth of Mexican pesos were confiscated.

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