Amid fentanyl busts, some border checkpoints remain closed

Border Report

TUCSON, Ariz. (NewsNation) — Three of the checkpoints at the U.S.-Mexico border’s Tucson sector are closed — despite three major recent drug busts at the sector.

The three fentanyl busts totaled nearly 540,000 pills seized over the last week alone. Each load was smuggled inside a vehicle through federal border patrol checkpoints — not at a port of entry.

Several of those checkpoints are currently closed, with three alone in Cochise County. NewsNation’s Ali Bradley watched as car after car, trailer after trailer just went through this area despite an agent being inside. The sheriff says the checkpoints where agents generally stop each car have been closed for more than a year. 

“The Tucson Sector continues to direct manpower, based on operational needs, in response to shifting traffic patterns,” a U.S. Customs and Border Protections spokesperson told NewsNation. “The Tucson Sector operates checkpoints as manpower and activity levels dictate.”

At the end of August, 35 agents from the Tucson sector were relocated to the Del Rio sector to help with processing amid an influx of migrants in Eagle Pass, Texas.

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