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PRESS RELEASES

Multi-Agency OperationYields More than 7,500 Pounds of Marijuana

Arrests made in multi agency operation in the Vekol Valley

Wednesday, February 09, 2011 -


An unprecedented level of cooperation between local, state and federal law enforcement over the last few weeks has yielded more than 7,500 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of more than $6 million in a four-day operation which ended January 30th.

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) led multi-agency operation was supported with Border Guardian funding, which was approved by Governor Jan Brewer, in an effort to increase our enforcement efforts to disrupt criminal organizations who operate within the southern Arizona Border Region. This enforcement program included the following agencies: DPS, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), Immigration and Customs Enforcement Removal Operations (ICE ERO), ICE Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HIS), Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations (OFO) and Office of Border Patrol (OBP). In addition police departments from Casa Grande (CGPD) and Eloy (EPD) also participated in the operation which concentrated the enforcement efforts in Pinal County.

This ongoing operation’s goal is to deny, degrade, disrupt and dismantle smuggling organizations. Intelligence gathered and shared between the agencies led to 110 arrests, 9 stolen vehicles recovered, and the seizure of 4 firearms and more than 7,500 pounds of marijuana.

“Attacking the profit motive behind human and drug smuggling throughout Arizona has been a priority for Governor Brewer. I am pleased at the high level of cooperation between a host of agencies all aiming for the same goal, take back the Vekol Valley from criminals and make our state and communities safer,” said Col. Robert Halliday, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

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