YUMA — Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Wellton Station apprehended a group of illegal border crossers with backpacks full of methamphetamine in the remote desert southeast of Yuma Sunday, February 14, according to a press release.
At approximately 3:30 p.m., agents detected and subsequently apprehended a group of eight Mexican nationals in the desert several miles south of Interstate 8. The group was found to be carrying four backpacks that contained 148 pounds of methamphetamine. The methamphetamine had an estimated street value of $266,000.
Each member of the group was wearing camouflage clothing and carpet booties over their shoes. Agents arrested and transported the group to the Wellton Station for further processing and seized the methamphetamine.
“Setting aside the inherent risks of operating in today’s environment, the brave men and women of Wellton Station remain steadfast in disrupting the efforts of smugglers as they attempt to poison the streets of America with dangerous narcotics,” said Kevin Villegas, Patrol Agent in Charge for Wellton Station.
Although backpacking marijuana through the desert has been a mainstay for drug smugglers over the years, they have recently shifted to hard narcotics, which can be moved in smaller amounts and have a higher value. By wearing camouflage clothing, the smugglers attempt to blend in with their surroundings to avoid detection. The booties they wear also help to conceal their shoe prints as they cross roads that are regularly monitored by Border Patrol agents.