News Release Date: February 12, 2018
Contact: NPS Investigative Services Branch, (202) 379-4761
US Park Rangers and Special Agents of the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch (ISB) work closely with interagency partners to reduce the impact of cross-border illegal activity.
While human and drug smuggling have decreased in recent years, they continue to impact natural resources and create public safety concerns in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, situated along the international border with Mexico. Enforcement operations help protect natural and cultural resources, and provide a safe environment for the visiting public and park employees.
In recent weeks, prosecution efforts from the United States Attorney’s Office in Tucson, Arizona, have resulted in guilty pleas and defendants being sentenced to Federal prison terms for the following incidents:
February 14, 2017: US Park Rangers conducting a foot-based patrol arrested one individual and seized 4 large backpacks containing 127 pounds of marijuana near North Puerto Blanco Drive.
February 18, 2017: US Park Rangers conducting traffic enforcement operations disrupted a vehicle being loaded with 194 pounds of marijuana on Arizona State Route 85, near milepost 77. Two individuals were arrested and charged.
January 21, 2018: US Park Rangers conducting a foot-based patrol near Pozo Nuevo Road arrested four individuals and seized six contraband backpacks containing 284 pounds of marijuana.
These cases were initiated and investigated by US Park Rangers of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and ISB Special Agents. The total involved contraband seized is estimated to be worth in excess of $480,000.
Assistance from the United States Border Patrol, US Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department (AZ) were crucial to the successful outcome of these cases.
ISB: the Investigative Services Branch of the National Park Service