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A phony FedEx truck carrying 14 illegal entrants was seized Tuesday by U.S. Border Patrol agents at Douglas.
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The Arizona Daily Star
04/19/2002 10:24:21

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 not have.
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.
The village 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 would 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.
After 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 on Diamond 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. Border Patrol.
Easton said Olivares may also face federal charges of assaulting a federal police officer.

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2002 The Arizona Daily Star Online. All Rights Reserved.
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