Busy Weekend for CBP Officers in San Diego, Imperial Counties
San Diego - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the ports of entry between California and Mexico were busy this weekend, stopping 652 pounds of narcotics worth almost an estimated $2.5 million.
CBP officers in the San Diego Field Office on Saturday and Sunday stopped approximately 467 pounds of marijuana, 147 pounds of cocaine, 29 pounds of methamphetamine, and almost 9 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, or "ice." The San Diego Field Office encompasses the San Ysidro, Otay Mesa, Tecate, Calexico, and Andrade ports of entry, as well as airport and seaport activity in San Diego.
The largest narcotic seizure took place at about 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, February 5 at the San Ysidro port of entry, when a 36-year-old male U.S. citizen drove a blue 1992 Chevrolet Silverado to the border crossing. A CBP officer roving through the lanes of waiting traffic screened the vehicle with a narcotic detector dog, and the canine alerted. CBP officers escorted the vehicle and driver for a more intensive inspection.
During the inspection, CBP officers found 62 packages wrapped in cellophane, packaging tape, and grease/oil under the vehicle's hood, containing 168.5 pounds of marijuana. CBP seized the vehicle and narcotics and turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
CBP stopped more than 175 immigration violators at the ports of entry this weekend, including people with counterfeit or altered documents, imposters to legal documents that do not belong to them, and persons hiding to try and avoid inspection when entering the United States.
In one incident at the Otay Mesa port of entry at about 7:10 p.m. on Saturday, a 27-year-old male Mexican citizen arrived at the Otay Mesa port of entry pedestrian processing area. The man did not provide any documentation, but orally claimed to be a U.S. citizen and the CBP officer referred him for further inspection.
Using fingerprint identification, CBP officers confirmed the man's identity and that he is not able to legally enter the United States.
Later on Saturday at the same port of entry, at about 11:30 p.m., a 37-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a white Ford Mustang arrived at the Otay Mesa passenger port of entry. The driver presented a valid resident alien card, but the CBP officer suspected that he was not the true legal owner of the card.
CBP officers confirmed that the card in fact belonged to the driver's older brother, and that the driver is not able to legally enter the United States.
Also this weekend, CBP officers stopped 13 fugitives with active arrest warrants.
CBP officers enforce hundreds of laws at the ports of entry into the United States, including not just immigration and customs laws, but also agriculture laws.
In one incident on Saturday, at about 8:30 a.m., a 46-year-old male Mexican citizen with a valid border crossing card arrived at the Tecate port of entry. The man was applying for an I-94 permit, required for Mexican visa holders with a border crossing card to travel beyond 25 miles from the border.
During his inspection, CBP officers found 77 pounds of undeclared pork tamales. The man paid a $175 civil penalty and was released. CBP seized and destroyed the pork products.
Restrictions are placed on certain agriculture products to protect community health, preserve the environment and prevent the introduction of devastating diseases to domestic plants and animals. Mexico is known to be affected with classical swine fever, an animal disease not known to occur in the U.S. To prevent the introduction of this disease into the United States, pork meat from Mexico (cooked and raw) is prohibited. Failure to declare food products can result in up to $10,000 in fines and penalties.
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.