Woman charged for smuggling 108 pounds of methamphetamine across US-Mexico border following HSI Yuma investigation

By U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Originally posted on

YUMA, Ariz. – A female Mexican national was charged by criminal complaint July 1 for her alleged involvement in narcotics smuggling following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Yuma assisted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Maria Arredondo De Sanchez, 56, was arrested June 30 upon attempting to enter the U.S. through the San Luis Port of Entry where CBP officers discovered 105 packages hidden in Arredondo De Sanchez’s car.

The complaint alleges the packages contained a white crystal-like substance that tested positive for methamphetamine. The combined weight of the packages was over 108 pounds.

A conviction for each charged offense carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation of criminal conduct, not evidence. An individual is presumed innocent until evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Phoenix, is handling the prosecution.

Learn more about HSI’s commitment to combatting narcotics in Arizona at @HSIPhoenix.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.