GRAND ISLAND, N.Y.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Buffalo, N.Y. has demonstrated significant law enforcement achievements in fiscal year (fy) 2012 along the more than 400 miles of border shared with Canada.
Buffalo Field Office encompasses all 17 international land border crossings in New York, from Buffalo to Champlain and Rouses Point.
Buffalo Border Patrol sector is comprised of 29 counties, including all of the Western portion of New York State, portions of central and northern New York State, and a portion of Pennsylvania.
The Buffalo Air and Marine Branch is responsible for covering more than 340 miles of maritime international border on the Niagara River, St. Lawrence Seaway, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
CBP agents and officers in the northeast, though geographically separated, are unified in this mission, working diligently with each other and their partners in securing our nation.
Office of Field Operations Buffalo Field Office highlights from fy 2012 include:
- During fy 2012, Buffalo Field Office personnel processed approximately 9.4 million personal automobiles, 19.9 million personal automobiles passengers, and 1.5 million commercial trucks. Through targeted operations, training, and deployment of more advanced technology, the Buffalo Field Office effectively executed its mission and achieved success in narcotics seizures; agricultural interceptions; the arrests of National Crime Information Center (NCIC) wanted individuals; and arrests for immigration violation.
CBP officers at the Rainbow Bridge in Buffalo arrested a Massachusetts man wanted for murder. On Oct. 11, CBP officers encountered the subject as he was attempting to re-enter the United States in a taxi. Record checks on the subject revealed that he was of interest to the Massachusetts State Police in a murder investigation. The subject was arrested and turned over to the Niagara Falls Police pending his extradition to Massachusetts.
CBP officers at the Alexandria Bay Bridge arrested a U.S. citizen wanted for possession of sexual exploitation of minors. On April 19, CBP officers encountered a 52-year-old subject who was wanted in the United States on an outstanding warrant. The subject was wanted in Florida for 40 separate acts of sexual exploitation of minors. The subject was arrested by CBP and turned over to the custody of the New York State Troopers pending extradition to Florida.
CBP officers in Champlain, N.Y. seized approximately $1.4 million of Ecstasy, which resulted in the arrest of a Canadian citizen. On June 3, CBP officers conducting a secondary inspection on a subject's vehicle discovered several bags containing approximately 70,000 pills, with a weight of approximately 49 pounds, concealed with in the gas tank. The subject was arrested on federal charges of importation and possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance and turned over to agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
U.S. Border Patrol Buffalo Sector highlights from fy 2012 include:
- During fy 2012, Buffalo Sector Border Patrol agents made 1,143 arrests, including the arrest of eight gang members; and seized $67,065 in U.S. currency and 1,717 pounds of marijuana and the Sector experienced a 194% increase in prosecutions. Agents also performed six water rescues, including the rescue of a Cuban national, who attempted to illegally enter into Canada from the United States by swimming the Niagara River and a Youngstown Level Regatta participant who suffered a traumatic head injury aboard a sailing vessel on Lake Ontario.
Oswego Station Border Patrol agents apprehended a MS-13 gang member. On May 19, New York State Police contacted Border Patrol for assistance with an individual in their custody. Agents responded to the call and apprehended a 35-year-old El Salvadoran national. Record checks from the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) identified the individual as having an active felony warrant in New York City. During processing, the individual admitted to being a MS-13 gang member.
A Marine Unit rescued a surfing Santa Claus from the Niagara River. On Dec. 23, while patrolling the Niagara River, Buffalo Station Marine Interdiction agents rescued a Canadian citizen dressed as Santa Claus, who was windsurfing near Strawberry Island, when the mast on his windsurfing board broke and he fell into the water. Agents arrived on scene and pulled the man from the 42-degree water, returning him safely to shore.
Border Patrol agents took first place in the Erie County Tactical SWAT Competition: Agents competed in six-different team events during the competition; against the "best of the best" within the local law enforcement community. Taking first place in this competition was remarkable because Buffalo Sector does not have an official SWAT team that practices on a regular basis.
Office of Air and Marine Buffalo Branch highlights from fy 2012 include:
- During fy 2012, the Buffalo Air Branch assisted the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), FBI, state and local agencies, resulting in 94 arrests and the total seizures of $1,337,705 in U.S. currency, 5,073 pounds of marijuana, 36.3 pounds of cocaine, one pound of heroin, two vehicles and seven weapons; and assisted in the rescue of six individuals from Lake Ontario after their small vessel sank.
During FY 2012, the Buffalo Marine Branch assisted Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), FBI, state and local agencies, resulting in total seizures of $857,368 in U.S. currency, 462 pounds of marijuana, 26 pounds of cocaine, three pounds of other drugs, four weapons, one vehicle, 22 federal and state arrests, and one illegal alien apprehension.
The Buffalo Marine Branch also provided support for Navy Week 2012 Bicentennial of the War of 1812, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Border Enforcement Security Taskforce, DEA Rochester Office, Pennsylvania Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, and the FBI Eagle Task Force and Special Response Team.
The Buffalo Marine Branch, Erie Unit assisted the U.S. Coast Guard in six different life saving situations during the fy 2012 boating season.