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Arizona Border Patrol agent arrested, charged with drug trafficking

(Flickr Photo/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A U.S. Border Patrol agent assigned to the Tucson Sector Ajo Border Patrol Station has been accused of drug trafficking, authorities said Monday.

Federal prosecutors said 53-year-old Carlos Victor Passapera Pinott of Buckeye was arrested Sunday on suspicion of multiple counts of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.

Passapera had his initial court appearance Monday in Tucson. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer yet.

Prosecutors said Passapera left his home early Sunday and drove to a remote area of the border west of the Lukeville Port of Entry.

Passapera then drove to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, where he allegedly loaded two duffel bags into another vehicle.

Law enforcement agents stopped the driver of that vehicle after it left the airport and searched the duffel bags.

Authorities said the bags contained 21 kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of heroin and one kilogram of fentanyl plus some 350,000 pills believed to fentanyl.

Law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at Passapera’s home and reported finding about $329,000 in cash plus an additional $40,000 in his vehicle.

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