CBP Catches Fugitive Trying to Use Altered U.S. Passport
San Diego - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro port of entry Thursday stopped a fugitive attempting to enter the United States under false pretenses, as well as 50 other persons trying to illegally enter the U.S.
February 25 at about 7 a.m., a man walked up to a CBP officer processing pedestrians crossing into the U.S. at San Ysdiro and presented a U.S. passport. The officer suspected that the document had been altered and did not belong to him, so he pulled the traveler aside for further inspection.
Officers determined that the passport was, in fact, altered and established the man's identity through fingerprint identification as a 37-year-old Mexican citizen and resident of San Gonzalez, Mexico.
Officers also discovered that the man had an active felony warrant for his arrest, issued by the Merced County Sheriff's Office on January 14, for property damage.
The fugitive was arrested and is being held to turn custody over to the Merced County Sheriff's Office.
Less than an hour later, another man walked up to another CBP officer at the busy port of entry and presented a U.S. passport. Again, the officer suspected that the document had been altered and was being used by an imposter, so he pulled the man aside for further inspection.
Officers determined that the man was, in fact, a 32-year-old male Mexican citizen and resident of Tijuana, who had previously deported from the United States. He was arrested and booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) to face criminal charges.
Also on Thursday, a 19-year-old female U.S. citizen and resident of San Ysidro, Calif. driving a red 2007 Ford F150 pickup truck arrived at the San Ysidro border crossing. She presented her valid SENTRI card to enter the U.S. and presented a Mexican passport and a U.S. visa for her male passenger.
Upon inspection, the CBP officer suspected that the visa had been altered so he referred the car and occupants for a more thorough inspection. Officers determined that the visa had been reported as lost or stolen, and had been altered. Using fingerprints, officers confirmed that the imposter to the visa was in fact a 33-year-old Mexican citizen, and resident of Chihuahua, Mexico, without proper documents to legally enter the United States. Officers also discovered that he had previously been removed from the United States by federal immigration authorities after his border crossing card was canceled.
Both the driver and passenger were arrested and booked into the MCC to face criminal charges.