CBP Officers at Area Ports Make More Than 2 Dozen Drug Seizures during the Last Week
El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas, and New Mexico identified and stopped numerous violations during the last seven days including drugs, prohibited agriculture items, fugitive apprehension, and immigration violations.
Area CBP officers made 26 drug seizures during the past week. Included in that group were 23 marijuana seizures totaling 1,508 pounds, two cocaine seizures totaling 24.4 pounds, and one heroin seizure weighing 4.9 pounds.
One of the most interesting drug seizures of the week occurred at the Columbus port of entry March 6. CBP officers at the port seized 108 pounds of marijuana. The seizure was made after a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee entered the port from Mexico. CBP drug sniffing dog "Cordone" searched the car and gave a positive alert for the presence of drugs. CBP officers X-rayed the vehicle and spotted anomalies in the appearance of the tires. CBP officers continued their exam of the tires and found four metal collars bolted onto the rims of all four tires. The metal canisters were opened and found to contain marijuana. Two female residents of Deming were taken into custody and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for prosecution.
Area CBP officers made 14 seizures of prohibited food and agricultural items this week, resulting in $3,075 in fines being assessed. Prohibited items seized this week included pork, chorizo, bologna, apples, oranges, avocados, mangoes, sugar cane, potatoes, and live plants.
During the previous seven days, area CBP officers uncovered 112 immigration violations. Imposters made up the largest group of violators. A total of 30 were identified through thorough document exams. Imposters generally will use a legitimate entry document assigned to another person and present it as their own.
CBP officers this week also identified 41 intended immigrants while performing inspections at area ports. In these cases, individuals will use a legally issued border-crossing card (laser visa) to live or work in the U.S., which is not authorized. Violators generally lose their documents and are returned to Mexico.
CBP officers also recorded 39 cases of people making false claims to U.S. citizenship, people attempting to enter with counterfeit or altered documents, and people attempting to enter without inspection.
CBP officers this week also identified 21 people who were being sought by various law enforcement agencies, made three seizures of prohibited medications, confiscated cock fighting spurs and seized several article of clothing made from the skins of endangered animals. 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.