El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 1,267 pounds of marijuana during the holiday weekend. They made a total of nine drug busts during the period.
Area CBP officers uncovered 62 immigration violations while performing inspections during the weekend. Intended immigrants made up half of the cases. A total of 31 were identified through thorough document exams. 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 identified a total of 14 impostors during the period. Imposters with previous criminal histories are generally booked into the El Paso County jail to face federal prosecution. Imposters are also removed from the United States for a minimum five year period and face federal felony charges if they attempt to illegally reenter the country again.
"Some of these violators have been previously removed from the country and are barred from legal reentry," said Hector Mancha, U.S. Customs and Border Protection El Paso port director. "Stopping the people is an important part of our mission of protecting the homeland, the United States of America."
The balance of the immigration violators included those making false claims to U.S. citizenship, people attempting to enter with counterfeit or altered documents, and visa overstay violations.
Area CBP officers made four seizures of prohibited food and agricultural items this weekend, resulting in $825 in fines being assessed. Prohibited items seized included quince, pomegranates and live plants.
CBP officers working at area ports identified three fugitives, made two currency seizures and identified one export violation during the weekend 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.