Buffalo, N.Y. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Field Operations announced the apprehension of a United States citizen wanted in the state of Florida for unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
On January 7, CBP officers encountered Ramon Ventura, a 45-year-old United States citizen from Land O'Lakes, Fla., as he applied for admission into the United States as a passenger in a taxi cab at the Peace Bridge border crossing in Buffalo, N.Y. Mr. Ventura had applied for entry into Canada on the same day and was being refused admission because of prior criminal convictions in the United States.
Record checks by Canadian authorities also revealed the possibility of an active warrant in the United States. Mr. Ventura was escorted by CBP officers to a secondary inspection area for further questioning and inspection.
Additional name and electronic fingerprint queries of Ventura by CBP officers verified that he was in fact the subject of an active nation-wide no bond warrant issued December 30, 2009 by the Pasco County Sheriff's Office in Land 'O Lakes, Fla. The warrant charges Mr. Ventura with unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
Mr. Ventura stated to CBP officers that he left Florida on or about December 30, 2009 and traveled to New York City, staying with family. He then traveled by bus from New York City to the U.S.-Canadian border to allegedly visit additional family in Toronto. The subject claimed he was not fleeing the United States in an attempt to avoid prosecution, however, CBP officers discovered various personal items not generally carried by tourists, to include bank statements and more than $13,000 in US currency, which he failed to report upon his intended departure.
CBP officers verified the validity of the warrant and confirmed extradition. Mr. Ventura was arrested and turned over to the custody of the Buffalo Police Department pending extradition to Florida. As Mr. Ventura's failure to report the exportation of currency over $10,000 is a violation of U.S. law, CBP officers seized the $13,000.
"The subject was arrested approximately one week after the issuance of the warrant. This arrest demonstrates CBP's close working relationship with our Canadian counterparts and state and local law enforcement departments throughout the United States," said James T. Engleman, CBP director of Field Operations for the Buffalo Field Office.
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.