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WELLTON, Ariz. -- The U.S. Border Patrol said its agents arrested 18 people who were lugging bales of marijuana into Arizona from Mexico in recent days.

A group of a dozen people were spotted in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge between Yuma and Tucson on Friday. Agents arrested 10 Mexican citizens and two people from Honduras and seized 469 pounds of marijuana.

The next day, agents caught six more people carrying marijuana in the refuge. Another 240 pounds of marijuana was seized.

Smugglers frequently use groups of migrants to carry makeshift backpacks stuffed with marijuana across southern Arizona's deserts.

Associated Press,

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