CBP Officers Generate Numerous Drug Seizures During Long Thanksgiving Weekend
El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at El Paso area ports of entry made several marijuana seizures during the Thanksgiving weekend. CBP officers confiscated a total of 876.67 pounds of marijuana.
One of the seizures was of a U.S. citizen female who had a baggie of marijuana strapped to her thigh area under her clothing. The seizure was one of 16 drug busts CBP officers made during the Thanksgiving period.
"While many area families were at home enjoying their holiday, CBP officers were busy protecting our nation at the ports of entry" said Ana Hinojosa, U.S. Customs and Border Protection director of Field Operations in El Paso.
In the largest seizure of the holiday period, CBP officers at the Columbus port of entry confiscated 141.24 pounds of marijuana on Wednesday. The seizure was made after a 1988 GMC van entered the port from Mexico. CBP officers searched the van and found inconsistencies in the gas tank. CBP officers removed four marijuana filled metal containers from the gas tank.
In addition to the drug busts, CBP officers working at ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas and New Mexico made a total of seven seizures of agricultural items. Violators paid $1,675 in penalties in association with the violations. Prohibited food products seized included mandarins, wheat seed, raw chicken, stems of lemon grass, pork chorizo, pork meat, pork tamales, apples, and corn seed.
CBP officers recorded 48 immigration violations at area ports this week including six imposters. CBP officers remain vigilant. Their thorough and diligent document exam process combined with their interview techniques helped in catching two alien smugglers. Imposters generally will use a legitimate entry document assigned to another person and present it as their own. Violators generally lose their documents, can be prosecuted and go to jail and/or are returned to Mexico.
CBP officers seized documents from 40 intended immigrants. 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. They also lose their documents and are generally returned to Mexico.
CBP officers also identified one alien smuggler who was booked without bail in the El Paso County Detention facility and two people who made false claims to U.S. citizenship. CBP officers working at area ports made a total of eight fugitive apprehensions during the period.
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.