Woman tries to smuggle $140K of cocaine into country
Web Producer: Janice Yu
SAN LUIS, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - A Yuma woman was arrested on Wednesday for trying to smuggle more than $140,000 worth of cocaine into the U.S., according to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. She had a "trusted traveler" status.
Maria Valle, 46, was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents at the Port of San Luis. A narcotic detection dog first alerted the presence of drugs, followed by a secondary inspection by officers.
Valle was a Secure Electronic Network for Traveler's Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) member. Her membership was revoked upon her arrest.
SENTRI is a part of a trusted traveler program, which allows members to use a dedicated commuter lane. This allows an expedited inspection process for low-risk travelers. Individuals go through a background check and an in-person interview before becoming a member.
"SENTRI members are treated with a higher level of trust, but are not exempt from inspection." said Acting Port Director Robert L. Schroeder. "Violations such as drug smuggling will not be tolerated and those attempting to exploit the program will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Valle's car and the cocaine were transferred to the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.