ARIZONA NEWS

August a big month for drugs seized on Arizona’s southern border so far

Aug 10, 2022, 4:45 AM

Aerial view of two drug smugglers are arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing the bord...

Aerial view of two drug smugglers are arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing the border from Mexico in the early morning hours on June 22, 2022 in Yuma, Arizona. (Photo by Qian Weizhong/VCG via Getty Images)

(Photo by Qian Weizhong/VCG via Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Port of Entry in Nogales has seen a big spike in drugs crossing the border in August – including meth, heroin and, in particular, fentanyl pills.

They’ve been concealed in hidden car compartments, stashed in spare tires and even found in the frame of a medical walker.

Nogales Port Director Michael Humphries said Customs and Border Protection officers have seen especially big busts in recent days.

“There was one seizure that had approximately 391,000 fentanyl pills,” Humphries recounted. “Another had approximately 420,000.”

These busts, plus other smaller ones, totaled up to more than 1.1 million fentanyl pills seized at the Nogales Port of Entry in a seven-day period.

Humphries stressed these numbers aren’t typical, even though rates of fentanyl smuggling are up.

“We do get good amounts … but not back to back,” he said. “But this fiscal year, we are ahead of what we seized last year as far as fentanyl goes.”

Drugs aren’t all that are seized at the border. Humphries explained weapons going into Mexico from the U.S. has become a big concern.

“This year we’ve seized a few machine guns, a lot of assault rifles and a lot of assault rifle ammunition going into Mexico,” he said. “When you’re talking machine guns on tripods … they’re not going deer hunting.”

There have also been large quantities of undeclared cash confiscated.

“In the month of July we seized over half a million dollars in cash, most likely destined for trans-national criminal organizations,” Humphries said.

Several days ago, the Biden administration announced the end of the “Remain in Mexico” policy – which allowed the U.S. government to send migrants with asylum claims back to Mexico while awaiting their hearings.

Humphries doesn’t expect this change to have much of an effect on Ports of Entry.

“99% of the people who come through here are coming for legitimate reasons,” he stressed. “They’re going to Tucson and Phoenix … staying in hotels, shopping and going to restaurants.”

However, Humphries acknowledged there is a national spotlight on his part of the border, with opioid overdoses up and large hauls of drugs being seized.

“A lot’s been going on down here, especially lately,” he said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

West Valley Silver Alert. Headshot of Roger Holm of Surprise, who went missing Wednesday, May 29, 2...

KTAR.com

Silver Alert issued for West Valley man who went missing after leaving home on foot

A Silver Alert was issued Wednesday night for a West Valley man who went missing after leaving his home that morning.

16 minutes ago

Summer is nearing in Arizona, but for many teens it can be a time of deep insecurity for fear of ha...

Heidi Hommel

Here are warning signs of body image issues as Arizona summer nears

Summer is nearing in Arizona, but for many teens it can be a time of deep insecurity for fear of having to put on a bathing suit.

2 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/White Castle)...

KTAR.com

White Castle restaurant set to open in Goodyear in June

National fast-food chain restaurant White Castle plans to open its third Arizona location in Goodyear on June 11.

3 hours ago

A highway sign marks State Route 89A, which will be closed in the Sedona area from Jun. 3 to Jun. 7...

Aaron Schmidt

Closures of State Route 89A north of Sedona for rockfall project to start next week

PHOENIX — Drivers who would typically use State Route 89A at the switchbacks in Oak Creek Canyon north of Sedona will have to find an alternative route next week. SR 89A will be closed in both directions between Pine Flat Campground and the Oak Creek Vista scenic overlook from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday […]

3 hours ago

Tom Horne: One-on-one tutoring program benefits Arizona students...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona schools chief Tom Horne says tutoring program is boosting reading, math scores

The Achievement Tutoring Program, which is a one-on-one tutoring program for Arizona students, improves academic performance, Tom Horne says.

3 hours ago

File photo of a Phoenix Police SUV parked next to yellow crime scene tape. Police responded to rPol...

KTAR.com

Woman killed, man injured in crash in north Phoenix

A woman was killed and a man was injured in a two-vehicle collision in north Phoenix on Wednesday afternoon.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

August a big month for drugs seized on Arizona’s southern border so far