Busy Border Weekend Results in Seizures and Arrests
Buffalo, N.Y. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Field Operations announced the seizure of 22 pounds of marijuana and three federal arrests in separate cases over a busy weekend.
This past weekend proved to be a busy one for Customs and Border Protection officers working the border crossings in the Buffalo/ Niagara region. The first arrest occurred early Saturday morning when officers encountered a 30-year-old Canadian citizen as he applied for admission into the United States at the Lewiston Bridge border crossing. A primary name query of the presented document revealed an active warrant in Canada. During a secondary inspection, CBP officers queried the subject's fingerprints, which resulted in the discovery of a record indicating the prints were not those of the subject listed in the presented passport, but rather belonged to Dominic Akyinah, a Canadian citizen who had been previously denied entry into the US. When confronted with the evidence discovered by CBP, Akyinah admitted that he was not the lawful owner of the presented document and that it belonged to his brother. He further advised that he attempted to use his brother's passport because he knew he was inadmissible and wanted to attend his uncle's wedding in New York City. Akyinah was arrested and charged with misuse of a passport and false statements.
Later on Saturday, CBP officers encountered Daryll Hackshaw, a 33-year-old citizen from St. Vincent and the Grenadines with lawful resident status in Canada, as he applied for admission into the United States. Mr. Hackshaw made a negative declaration and claimed that he was en route to New York City to visit his mother. Mr. Hackshaw was referred to CBP for a secondary inspection. During the course of the inspection, it was determined that Mr. Hackshaw's vehicle, a Nissan Skyline, was recently registered in Canada and only for duration of nine days. The vehicle is a right-hand drive vehicle, which is illegal to import into the United States. Right hand steering vehicles are restricted because they are not manufactured to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). The right hand drive vehicles from Japan are non-conforming to US standards. When confronted with the evidence, Mr. Hackshaw admitted that his true intent was to illegally import the vehicle into the United States and sell it to a dealer in New York City. Mr. Hackshaw was arrested for illegal importation of merchandise.
Finally on Sunday, officers working at the Peace Bridge border crossing encountered Vasile Mina a 37-year-old Canadian citizen from Newmarket, Ontario. Mr. Mina was the operator of a commercial vehicle containing brass fittings en route to Rhode Island. During a secondary inspection, CBP officers discovered two boxes of marijuana comingled within the legitimate commodity. The boxes were found to contain 22 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $65,000. Mr. Mina was arrested on federal charges of importation and possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance.
All subjects arrested over the weekend were turned over to agents from Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation and prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York.
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.