Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents found groups of migrants working as mules to haul methamphetamine across the Mexican border into Arizona. Agents found one group on a U.S. Air Force bombing range.
Welton Border Patrol Station agents found two migrants, a 17-year-old unaccompanied minor and a 48-year-old single adult, hiding under a tree on the Luke Air Force Base bombing range on Saturday afternoon, according to information provided by Yuma Sector Border Patrol officials. The migrants attempted to flee as the agents approached.
#YumaSector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Wellton station arrested four different groups smuggling 534 pounds of methamphetamine worth nearly $1 million through the desert over the weekend. Details: https://t.co/8ad5myoCd1 pic.twitter.com/MVoFRkbWRR
— Chief Patrol Agent Chris T. Clem (@USBPChiefYUM) May 3, 2021
The agents apprehended the two migrants and began a search of the area. The search led to the discovery of three backpacks carrying 120 pounds of methamphetamine, officials reported. The agents arrested the migrants and seized the methamphetamine valued at approximately $216,000.
The following day, Welton Station agents patrolling near Sentinel, Arizona, with all-terrain vehicles found a group of three migrants hiding under a tree. The three migrants, all adult males, carried backpacks containing 110 pounds of methamphetamine, officials stated. The agents placed the value of the seized drugs at nearly $200,000.
Welton Station’s Target Enforcement Unit encountered two more groups of smuggling mules on Monday morning east of Welton, Arizona. Agents found 195 pounds of methamphetamine in the possession of the first group, officials said. The second group carried 109 pounds. Agents assessed the value of the two loads of methamphetamine at $351,000 and $196,000 respectively.
In total, the agents interdicted four groups of migrant drug smugglers carrying 534 pounds with an estimated value of nearly $1 million.
The bombing range was also the scene of a migrant apprehension effort in June 2019, consisting of 17 requiring rescues.