LEWISTON, N.Y. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Lewiston port of entry seized loose-leaf tobacco valued at more than $300,000.
On December 10, 2014, CBP officers encountered a tractor trailer outbound at the Lewiston Bridge which was selected for secondary examination. The manifest listed the cargo as toys from Massachusetts. An inspection of the trailer revealed boxes of loose-leaf tobacco located behind pallets of toys. A subsequent investigation led by Homeland Security Investigators revealed that the tobacco was being smuggled out of the U.S. into Canada to avoid paying applicable Canadian duties.
“CBP is the last line of defense in the export control process,” said Joseph Draganac, acting CBP port director for the Port of Buffalo. “CBP uses its authority to inspect, search, detain and seize goods being exported illegally.”
"Smugglers who think that our ports of entry are an easy target for contraband are seriously mistaken," said Michael Kennedy, acting special agent in charge of HSI Buffalo." HSI is committed to our partnership with CBP to aggressively protect the integrity of our nation's borders.”
On April 1, the shipment was seized for exportation contrary to law.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.