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Multi-Agency Operation Yields More than 3,200 Pounds of Marijuana

102 arrests made in latest Vekol Valley operation

Thursday, February 24, 2011 -

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The combined efforts of local, state and federal law enforcement over the last few weeks continues to yield results in the battle against drug cartels doing business in the Vekol Valley and Silver Bell Mountain areas, which include Pinal, Pima and Maricopa Counties. This operation was conducted as part of the Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats (ACTT).

The four-day operation produced a total of 3,200 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of more than $2.5 million. In addition, a large number of weapons were also seized.

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 (MCS0), 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 took part in the operation which concentrated the enforcement efforts in Pinal County.

The ongoing operation’s goal is to deny, degrade, disrupt and dismantle smuggling organizations. Intelligence gathered and shared between the agencies led to 102 arrests, 7 stolen vehicles recovered and the seizure of 12 firearms and more than 3,200 pounds of marijuana.

“This is an ongoing effort to deprive drug cartels of the profit motive to smuggle narcotics into Arizona. Our results are a testament to the hard work of everyone involved. I am proud that DPS is the lead agency in this very important operation,” said Col. Robert Halliday, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.


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The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity and providing vital support to the State of Arizona and its citizens.