Traffic stops yielded 225 pounds of meth in just one week, Arizona Gov. Doug Doucy announced.
Doucy said at a press conference on Sept. 17 that the Arizona Border Strike Force collected the drugs, worth an estimated $10 million, in three traffic stops on major highways.
The third bust also uncovered one pound of fentanyl, an amount that officials said could kill over 200,000 people.
Officials said the three men holding the drugs were all from Arizona: Roberto Cervantes, 19, from Rio Rico; Guillermo Parada, 24, from Phoenix; and Martin Bogarin, 18, from Yuma.
In the last few days alone, the #ArizonaBorderStrikeForce has made a series of major drug seizures:
Sept 8 → 52 lbs of meth
Sept 12 → 123 lbs of meth
Sept 13 → 50 lbs of meth + 1 lb of fentanyl pic.twitter.com/sRmYumwJyi
— Governor Doug Ducey (@dougducey) September 17, 2018
“Arizona’s Border Strike Force works day and night to fight the everyday threat posed by drug cartels and human smugglers along our southern border. With just three traffic stops, Border Strike Force operations have stopped a significant amount of dangerous drugs from devastating more lives,” Ducey said in a statement posted on his website.
“The great work of the Border Strike Force continues to protect Arizonans and make our communities safer,” the statement said.
The state’s Border Strike Force was created to target and disrupt criminal organizations that operate across countries.
“Our Border Strike Force is dedicated to disrupting the flow of these extremely dangerous, deadly drugs and keeping them off, not only the streets in Arizona but across the nation,” said Col. Frank Milstead, the director of the state’s Department of Public Safety (DPS).
“We understand the damage these drugs can cause not only in a family but also the community as a whole. We stand committed in our fight to combat these drugs which are plaguing our nation and destroying families,” he said.
When the Border Strike Force was created in 2015, the DPS director vowed that 24-hour patrols would be the first priority.
Three years and $82 million later, it hasn't happened. https://t.co/OLvgHzYdGm
— azcentral (@azcentral) September 18, 2018
Millions Spent on Strike Force
The Arizona Republic reported that despite being around for three years now and receiving $82 million in funds, the Border Strike Force only patrols the border region’s highways 20 hours a day.
When the strike was created, it was aimed at a 24-hour patrol.
Local sheriffs have criticized the four-hour daily gap.
“Our agencies respond to call after call on the highways and interstates because DPS is not available,” Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot wrote in a June letter obtained by the Republic.
The media outlet said that attempts to obtain detailed documentation or reports on the force have been denied by public officials.
It also noted that the force is a central piece of Ducey’s re-election pitch to voters.