CBP Officers Bust SENTRI Lane User Smuggling Tobacco and Liquor
El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) at the Stanton Street international bridge revoked the SENTRI privileges of an El Paso man after finding contraband hidden in his vehicle Monday afternoon.
"SENTRI is a trusted traveler program with an absolute zero tolerance policy for violations," said William Molaski, U.S. Customs and Border Protection El Paso Port Director. "We trust but we also verify that users are complying with U.S. law and program rules. The integrity of the program demands severe consequences for those who elect to violate the trust."
The seizure was made shortly at about 4:30 p.m. Monday when the 61-year-old El Paso man arrived at the primary inspection booth at the Stanton crossing. CBP officers selected the vehicle for an intensive exam and quickly located three bottles of alcohol hidden inside the car after the driver made a negative declaration for any items. CBP officers asked the man again if there was anything else he wanted to declare and the man said no. CBP officers continued their exam and located an additional bottle of alcohol and two cartons of cigarettes hidden under a seat. CBP officers seized all four bottles of alcohol and the two cartons of cigarettes. The man was also assessed a $130 civil penalty and had his SENTRI document revoked.
"When people enroll in the program SENTRI members sign an agreement which clearly states that the lane is not intended to be used to import any items into the U.S. from Mexico," said Molaski. "SENTRI members must abide by the rules of the program."
Anti-terror is the primary mission of CBP however thorough inspections at border ports of entry continue to generate impressive enforcement activity in all areas.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.