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GILA BEND, Ariz. -- Federal authorities say nine suspected drug smugglers are in custody and nearly 500 pounds of marijuana seized at the southern Arizona border.

U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Wellton Station seized 10 bundles of marijuana and made the arrests Monday.

Agents patrolling near Gila Bend observed a large group of people walking toward Interstate 8.

A helicopter responded to the area and spotted nine men hiding behind brush along with the bundles of marijuana.

Agents responded to the area and arrested the nine men from Mexico who entered the country illegally.

The 10 bundles of marijuana had a combined weight of 488 pounds and worth an estimated $244,000.

The names of the nine men weren't immediately released. The men and marijuana were turned over to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Associated Press,

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