Sault Ste Marie, Mich. - During the month of August, Sault Ste. Marie Customs and Border Protection Field Operations officers located at the International Bridge in Sault Ste Marie, Mich., processed more than 187,000 travelers while successfully interdicting 60 offenders of federal, state or local laws (187,385 in truck, bus and POV per the CBP16).
Marijuana continues to be the most common narcotic discovered at this port of entry; however, unlawful possession of prescription medicine is increasing. These interdictions have resulted in multiple arrests and $2,000 in penalties.
Foreign nationals without proper entry documents and those with convictions for certain crimes are not allowed entry to the United States. Thirty-four such people were intercepted at the Sault Ste. Marie port of entry in August. CBP also discovered and processed three individuals found to be living in the United States illegally.
August 15, was the start of bear hunting season in northern Ontario, Canada. Countless successful bear hunters returned to the United States with their bounty. CBP, working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources seized three hunter's catches when it was discovered they were trying to import their bears in violation of the Lacey Act.
Total plant material interdicted by CBP Agriculture Specialists for August came to 600. These interdictions represent a 200 percent increase over August 2009. New regulations that took effect in July for Canadian peppers & tomatoes have increased seizures of these items, especially with the onset of the harvest season for both vegetables. Eight Canadian vehicles were returned to Canada to dispose of their firewood before they were allowed to continue into the United States. The continued vigilance of both our agriculture specialists and primary officers is continuing this positive effect on agricultural interdictions.
Improvements to the port of entry are ongoing to help facilitate legitimate travel and ease those that stop in for sanctioned business. A new canopy is being constructed to offer better shelter in times of inclement weather. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) upgrades have been completed: these enhancements help relieve congestion on the International Bridge and allow the officers to concentrate more on their primary mission of facilitating legitimate travel and trade while interdicting non-compliant travelers.
While the above violations are significant, it should be noted that the vast majority of travelers encountered by CBP at the International Bridge are law-abiding citizens. These travelers help to foster trade between the twin Saults.
"Our officers go above and beyond the call of duty to facilitate compliant trade and travel while enforcing the laws of the United States to fullest possible extent," said Devin Chamberlain, port director.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) priority mission is to secure our borders, our people and our visitors from those that would do us harm, including terrorists and instruments of terror. CBP is also charged with the facilitation of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. In this dual role, CBP enforces rules and regulations for a variety of agencies.