The Arizona Daily Star
A phony FedEx truck carrying 14 illegal entrants was seized
Tuesday by U.S. Border Patrol agents at Douglas.
The truck was painted to look like a FedEx truck, complete
with the commercial carrier's logo, in an effort to camouflage the illegal
cargo, said Ryan Scudder, spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol in Tucson.
The tip came in from a real FedEx driver who spotted the
fake and called the Border Patrol to report it, Scudder said.
"There is only one driver and vehicle serving that area,
so seeing another is something that he would have noticed," said FedEx
spokeswoman Pam Roberson in Memphis, Tenn.
She said the vehicle was
obviously overloaded and had rear windows, which FedEx vehicles do
Agents frequently come across vehicles disguised with
fictitious company logos, Scudder said. But using the name of an internationally
known business is rare.
"It is an unusual case, and still under investigation,"
he said. "Obviously someone knows we've got one of their vehicles,
but that's all we can say at this point without jeopardizing the investigation."
Big pot load seized from convoy
U.S. Customs Service agents surprised a convoy of four
vehicles early Wednesday morning on the Tohono O'odham Nation and seized
5,733 pounds of marijuana and arrested one man.
The operation began about 1 a.m. in an area of the reservation
just south of Casa Grande, near the village of Cockleburr, which is also
called Vaiva Vo, said Kyle Barnette, the associate special agent in charge
of the Customs Service's Tucson office of investigations.
is about 75 miles north of the Mexican border, 60 miles northwest of Tucson.
A customs Blackhawk helicopter "swooped down and blew
up dust and confused them," Barnette said.
Agents then drove up and
seized the vehicles, though most of the people on board escaped. Barnette
not name the man arrested because he hadn't been charged.
Initially, the agents found just three vehicles, said
Rene Andreu, the resident agent in charge of customs' Sells office.
dawn, customs officers tracked down another vehicle that had been covered
with a tarp, and the marijuana load was stashed nearby.
The seizure was related to an April 3 seizure of more
than 4 tons of marijuana near Ajo, Barnette said. During that incident,
a customs spokesman said, a smuggler tried to run down an agent, and other
agents shot and wounded the man.
Driver jailed in assault on agent
The driver in
a high-speed chase near Sasabe that netted 26 illegal entrants remains
in the Pima County Jail charged with aggravated
assault on a police officer.
Jose Jaime Olivares, 38, of Mexico is accused
of trying to run down a U.S. Customs agent manning a tire spike strip
Bell Ranch Road Tuesday, said Steve Easton, spokesman for the Pima
County Sheriff's Department.
The customs agent, who has not been identified, fired
at Olivares' fleeing vehicle and hit the windshield, but not Olivares.
The agent was taken to Tucson Medical Center, where he was treated
for minor injuries and released, officials said.
No charges were
filed against Maricela Vapien, 25, also of Mexico, who was arrested
with Olivares. She was released to the U.S.
Easton said Olivares may also face federal charges of
assaulting a federal police officer.
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