Monday afternoon proved to be a busy one for U.S. Border Patrol and Mobile County law enforcement on the Mobile, Ala. highways, having seized five pounds of heroin and apprehending 14 individuals in an apparent human smuggling attempt.
It all started just after noon on Interstate 10 when a Mobile County Sheriff’s Special Operations Deputy identified a vehicle drifting across the traffic lane lines. After stopping the vehicle with assistance from USBP Agents, the deputy noticed the smell of alcohol, prompting further questioning and a search of the vehicle.
The search uncovered six bricks wrapped in black electrical tape that had been hidden behind an aftermarket compartment near the front dash area of the vehicle. The deputy punctured one of the objects with a knife, and the contents tested positive for heroin. The driver and the heroin were immediately placed in the custody of the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.
Later that afternoon, during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 65, a Saraland police officer noticed that the vehicle was overly packed with passengers with no U.S. identification. The officer called Mobile USBP for assistance. Agents arrived and found that all 13 of the passengers had
entered the United States illegally. With this information, the passengers and the driver, who claimed to work for a transportation service, were taken into USBP custody. The case is now being investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations Task Force.
“We can never overstate the importance of relationships amongst local agencies,” said U.S. Border Patrol New Orleans Sector Chief Greg Bovino. “The value of partnerships with local law enforcement in highway interdiction efforts continues to set the standard for excellence in the mutual mission of ridding our communities of dangerous drugs and criminals. The local relationships equal security for our communities and security for our nation.”
The USBP Mobile station is part of the New Orleans Sector, and is responsible for conducting Border Patrol operations for the entire state of Alabama and the Florida panhandle, from the Florida-Alabama state line, eastward to the Apalachicola River. Individuals can report suspicious activity in these areas by calling (504) 376-2800.