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345 pounds of marijuana seized in Sonoran desert; will US-Mexico border wall help Arizona fight drug menace?
The illegal drug trade – involving cultivation, manufacture and distribution of various banned substances – has troubled the United States for a long. Apparently, illegal drugs pour into the country through various channels, including the vast 2,000-mile Southwestern border between Mexico and the U.S., which provide ample smuggling opportunities to various drug cartels.
Lately, Phoenix has become a preferred stash house zone and a hub for wholesale distribution and transportation of an array of illicit drugs, such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine to the rest of the U.S.
In December 2016, the U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Wellton Border Patrol Station near the international border arrested seven men on suspicion of crossing over from Mexico into the Sonoran desert of Arizona without proper travel documents. The arrests led to the seizure of nearly 345 pounds of marijuana, worth approximately $172,000.
The Air and Marine Operations (AMO) of the Yuma Air Branch had earlier alerted the Border Patrol agents on duty about seven men strolling camouflaged in army attire with huge backpacks strapped to their shoulders.
The seized drugs are being processed as per the Yuma Sector guidelines.
According to the federal laws, Border Patrol agents can lodge a complaint to charge individuals for criminal activities without inferring guilt.
Rising drug menace in Arizona
Phoenix and some other places of Arizona form part of an extensive network of drug distribution in America, which falls directly under the jurisdiction of the infamous Sinaloa Cartel of Mexico.
Arizona’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), along with Phoenix and Tucson, was identified as the hotbed of drug trafficking activities. The Phoenix metropolitan area serves as a regional and national-level center to transport and distribute methamphetamine and marijuana and a regional center for distributing other illicit drugs such as cocaine and Mexican black tar heroin.
The excellent transportation infrastructure in the region facilitates the movement of drugs from Mexico to these two cities, and then to other major locations, such as Atlanta, Georgia; Columbia, South Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Denver, Colorado; Las Vegas, Nevada; Nashville, Tennessee; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Mexican drug trafficking organizations use long-established connections to retain control over distribution groups in and around the Phoenix and Tucson areas, and supply wholesale quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, Mexican black tar heroin and marijuana to local street drug gangs, criminal groups, independent drug dealers, outlawed motorcycle gangs and prison gangs in the region for further dissemination.
Battling the menace of addiction
No wonder, President Donald Trump accords the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall a top priority, hoping it will check the influx of illegal migrants and drugs. Only time will tell whether the wall is a feasible solution to counter the problems. However, addressing the problem of addiction should serve better.
It is not easy to break the vicious cycle of addiction to any substance because of the complexities involved. It takes patience, compassion, specialized treatment and a lot of care during the process of recovery from the harmful consequences of substance abuse. If you or your loved one is looking for a specialized drug treatment facility, you may call Phoenix Drug Treatment and Rehab Center at 480-696-5152 for necessary therapeutic interventions and services.