El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at El Paso area ports of entry apprehended 25 wanted fugitives during the previous seven days including a pair of men wanted on sexual assault of a child charges.
"Everyday CBP officers at our area ports of entry are identifying and apprehending dangerous people who are attempting to enter our nation and our neighborhoods," san Ana Hinojosa, U.S. Customs and Border Protection director of Field Operation in El Paso. "The inspections take time but the results are helping keep our communities safe."
One of the apprehensions was made March 16 at the Presidio port of entry. CBP officers were performing inspections when 74-year-old Jose Maria Urias of Presidio entered the port from Mexico driving a Chevrolet pickup. CBP officers queried the subject and found that there was an outstanding National Crime Information Center warrant for his arrest for aggravated sexual assault of a child charges in Presidio County. CBP officers confirmed the warrant and contacted local authorities. Urias was turned over to the Presidio Police Department.
Another sex assault warrant apprehension was made March 19 at the Fort Hancock Port of Entry. CBP officers were performing inspections when 32-year-old Armando Valenzuela of Guadalupe, Chihuahua, Mexico entered the port from Mexico as a pedestrian. Valenzuela told CBP officers that he was wanted. CBP officers queried the subject and located an active NCIC warrant for his arrest for aggravated sexual assault of a child charges in Hudspeth County. CBP officers confirmed the warrant and contacted local authorities. Valenzuela was turned over to the Hudspeth County Sheriff's office.
CBP officers performing thorough document reviews and name queries at the El Paso area ports of entry identified 93 immigration related violations during the last seven days including 45 intended immigrants and 25 imposters. Intended immigrants will use a legally issued border crossing card (laser visa) to live or work in the United States, which is not authorized. Violators generally lose their documents and are returned to Mexico. Imposters with previous criminal histories are generally booked into the El Paso County Jail to face federal prosecution. Imposters are also removed from the United States for a minimum five-year period and face federal felony charges if they attempt to illegally re-enter the country again.
In addition to the imposters and intended immigrants, CBP officers working at area ports this week also identified 23 additional immigration violations including people making false claims to U.S. citizenship, people who had previously entered the country illegally, and those who attempted to use altered or counterfeit entry documents to gain access to the United States.
CBP officers working at El Paso area ports made 24 drug seizures during the week seizing approximately 2,302 pounds of marijuana in 18 cases, 98 pounds of cocaine in five busts and an additional pound of methamphetamine in a single seizure.
During the past week area CBP officers stopped six people who were attempting to evade the CBP inspection process and smuggle contraband agricultural items into the Un from Mexico. CBP officers intercepted hidden and undeclared pork, ham, bologna, chorizo, fresh eggs, tangerines and potatoes. Violators were assessed $1,300 in civil penalties.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.
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.