LAREDO, TEXAS – U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations maintained a robust border security focus, seizing $12.1 million in narcotics, arresting over 80 fugitives while facilitating significant volumes of Christmas and New Year’s holiday traffic at Laredo Field Office ports of entry.
“Our frontline CBP officers are resolute in their commitment to keeping our borders secure at our ports of entry while facilitating significant volumes of lawful trade and travel over the Christmas/New Year’s holiday period,” said Director, Field Operations David P. Higgerson, Laredo Field Office. “The enforcement successes are reflective of our ongoing efforts to interdict contraband, degrade transnational criminal organizations and prevent violations of federal law at our ports of entry while employing measures to efficiently process large volumes of holiday traffic.”
Over a 23-day period extending from Dec. 15, 2017 through the Three Kings/Reyes Magos holiday weekend ending on Jan. 7, 2018, CBP officers at eight ports of entry extending from Brownsville to Del Rio seized narcotics totaling $12.1 million in street value, uncovered violations of immigration law resulting in a total of more than 3,500 inadmissibles, arrested over 80 wanted fugitives, including three wanted on outstanding warrants of sexual assault of a child, statutory rape of a disabled minor and indecency with a child-sexual contact, respectively.
CBP officers at South Texas ports seized more than 17,700 pounds of marijuana, in excess of 205 pounds of cocaine, over 480 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 11 pounds of heroin and in excess of $37,000 in unreported currency. Among the more notable seizures were 5,164 pounds of marijuana seized Jan. 2 in a drywall shipment at Laredo Port of Entry and 129 pounds of methamphetamine seized in a Ford Expedition on Dec. 20 at Roma Port of Entry. CBP agriculture specialists issued more than $27,000 in penalties.
During this same time period, CBP officers processed more than 1.7 million private vehicles and buses, in excess of 170,000 commercial vehicles, over 927,000 pedestrians and issued in excess of 156,000 I-94 tourist permits. The lion’s share, more than 112,000 permits, were processed at the Laredo Port of Entry alone.
CBP officers realized these enforcement successes and maintained border security at the ports while implementing measures designed to facilitate lawful trade and travel. CBP constantly monitored traffic during the holiday periods and opened as many lanes as possible commensurate with traffic flow. CBP also encouraged travelers to apply for I-94s online and to obtain the Border Wait Times app on their smartphone via Apple App Store and Google Play (CBP BWT) so that they can observe the wait times and make an informed decision on which bridge to use.
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.