Cross-Border Marijuana Smugglers Will Face More Penalties

By Stina Sieg
Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 - 5:57pm
Updated: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 8:57am
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Marijuana seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Port of Douglas in 2014.

People caught smuggling marijuana into southern Arizona from Mexico will now also face penalties for crossing the border illegally.

This increased penalty is in line with the Trump administration's “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that hundreds of people are arrested each year in Southern Arizona for smuggling marijuana in backpacks. Often, they’re doing this for smugglers who will then waive their smuggling fee.

A typical sentence has included six months in prison for marijuana possession.

Now, offenders will concurrently serve a sentence for illegally crossing the border. While the new penalty will not increase their sentence this time, it could be used to lengthen sentences for future convictions.