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Blythe, California - Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents seized approximately 711 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $355,500, in separate incidents, Wednesday.

Blythe Station agents assigned to the Border Patrol checkpoint on Highway 78 near Palo Verde arrested a man attempting to smuggle marijuana in a pickup truck.  Subsequent to a canine alert, agents searched the truck and found six bundles containing marijuana.  The bundles were retrieved from a false compartment constructed inside an auxiliary gas tank, located in the bed of the truck.  The marijuana weighed a total of 248 pounds, and is worth an estimated $124,000.

Agents tracking suspected smugglers, with assistance from an Office of Air and Marine Yuma Air Branch aircrew, found five abandoned makeshift backpacks near Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge.  The marijuana is valued at an estimated $100,000, and weighed approximately 200 pounds.  After searching the immediate area, agents located three individuals, hiding in brush.  All admitted to entering the U.S. illegally.

Wellton Station agents observed a group of seven individuals walking northbound through the desert.  Agents arrived at the scene and found seven subjects carrying five makeshift backpacks filled with marijuana.  All admitted to entering the U.S. illegally.  The marijuana weighed a total of 263 pounds and was valued at an estimated $131,500.

All individuals and marijuana were transported to Wellton Station for further processing.