Arizona Border Strike Force Fighting Criminal Organizations

News Release

March 18, 2021

PHOENIX — As the crisis on the United States-Mexico border escalates, the Arizona Department of Public Safety continues to deter and dismantle illegal activity to keep Arizona safe thanks to a highly-trained group of state troopers.

Arizona’s Border Strike Force has been fighting criminal activity in Arizona communities and along the border since its creation by Governor Doug Ducey in 2015. In the final two months of 2020, Border Strike Force operations resulted in the seizure of:

  • Nearly 430 pounds of marijuana;

  • More than 10 pounds of heroin;

  • More than 40 pounds of cocaine;

  • More than 55 pounds of methamphetamine;

  • Nearly four pounds of fentanyl; 

  • Nearly one pound of other dangerous substances; 

  • More than 50 firearms;

  • More than 8,630 rounds of ammunition; and

  • Approximately 10 vehicles.

Trooper locates 15 lbs of methamphetamine and 6 oz of heroin during a Tucson-area traffic stop on January 11, 2021. Details HERE.

“These illegal drugs were on their way to communities in Arizona and across our country,” said Governor Ducey. “Thanks to the hard work and vigilance of the Border Strike Force, they never made it. Every Arizonan—every American—should applaud their success.”  

The Border Strike Force was created at the direction of Governor Ducey in September of 2015, in the first year of his administration. The mission of the 115-member Strike Force is to protect Arizona communities by stopping the flow of criminals, narcotics, weapons and ammunition trafficked in the state.

This week, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced our nation is on pace to reach the highest number of apprehensions at the border in the last 20 years. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection currently has the highest number of migrant children in custody in the history of the agency.

“We have a crisis,” Governor Ducey said yesterday during a meeting with federal border officials. “We need to call it what it is, and address it as such.”

On October 15, 2020, troopers seized $2.5 million in drugs during a traffic stop. Details HERE.

In addition, from March 2020 to March 2021:

  • Operation Border Flight completed 41 missions, 286 mission hours and 173 flight hours;

  • Customs and Border Patrol Pre-Planned Logistics Support completed 12 missions, 58 mission hours and 21 flight hours; and

  • Search & Rescue/Medical/Technical Rescue completed 21 missions, 60 mission hours and 35 flight hours.

Traffic stop on January 24, 2020 leads to what was—at the time—the largest meth seizure in AZDPS history. Details HERE.