Border Patrol arrests drug smuggler using zip line to access U.S.

Douglas Station Border Patrol agents seized 10 bundles of marijuana and arrested one person involved in a cross-border zip line smuggling attempt Wednesday morning.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo

Douglas Station Border Patrol agents seized 10 bundles of marijuana and arrested one person involved in a cross-border zip line smuggling attempt Wednesday morning.

TUCSON – Douglas Station Border Patrol agents seized 10 bundles of marijuana and arrested one person involved in a cross-border zip line smuggling attempt Wednesday morning.

Agents using surveillance technology detected a person a few feet from the international border attempting to conceal himself in a vacant lot on the east side of Douglas and alerted other agents patrolling the area. When agents arrived to investigate, they found multiple marijuana bundles and a male suspect identified as an 18-year-old Douglas resident.

During a subsequent search of the area, agents also discovered a zip line affixed to tall building south of the border in Agua Prieta Sonora, Mexico. Agents notified Mexican law enforcement who then searched the line’s point of origin; later reporting to the U.S. Border Patrol that no suspects were found.

Agents transported the bundles to the Douglas Station for processing. The marijuana had a combined weight of more than 240 pounds and an estimated value exceeding $120,000.

The suspect was arrested and is being held on federal smuggling charges. He will remain in custody pending further disposition.

Detection technology, such as remote surveillance equipment, serves a force multiplier. It allows one agent to monitor several areas simultaneously while safeguarding border communities.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials welcome assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. Contacting the Border Patrol to report illicit activity could result in saving someone’s life.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry.

– Information provided by CBP