CBP Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands FY2012 Review
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands announced today a summary of the outcomes of their collective effort to secure our border and facilitate travel and trade.
This effort is possible through collaborative operations and partnerships with other Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, which have become an integral part of CBP's procedures within the Caribbean, in order to generate reductions in illicit activity throughout the area.
In Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, CBP officers and agents seized over 43,303 pounds of narcotics with an estimated street value of approximately $400 million and seized approximately $5.8 million in unreported currency in FY2012, which runs from October 2011 to September 2012.
The CBP Office of Air and Marine Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB) played a major role in the determent of illegal activity throughout our coasts, through the coordinated use of integrated air and marine forces to detect, interdict and prevent the unlawful movement of people, illegal drugs and other contraband in the area. Approximately 22,188 pounds of narcotics and $1,324,579 in currency was seized by CAMB this fiscal year.
Ramey Border Patrol agents patrol coastal areas in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and work to secure a safer environment as they prevent, deter, and arrest illegal aliens and narcotics that try to enter our area. During FY2012, Ramey agents apprehended 702 undocumented aliens between the ports of entry; prosecuting 160 for violating federal immigration law based on illegal reentry. This represents a 14 percent increase from FY2011. Regarding drug seizures, over 3,032 pounds of narcotics were seized by Border Patrol agents during FY2012.
CBP officers and agriculture specialists work to protect our borders at the ports of entry while facilitating legitimate trade and travel. CBP processed approximately 4.9 million travelers and 115,851 containers through our ports of entry during FY2012.
During this time, CBP officers seized 18,083 pounds of narcotics and arrested 21 people wanted for crimes, including murder, rape, assault, and robbery and denied entry to more than 1,477 people attempting to illegally enter the U.S. through an air or sea port of entry in our area; of which 110 were prosecuted for criminal violations. Furthermore, $4,496,077 in unreported currency was seized.
CBP agriculture specialists seized more than 17,491 prohibited plant materials, meat, and animal byproducts and intercepted nearly 4,512 pests. Approximately 12 insects intercepted at our ports this year have been determined to be first time in port/nationwide and/or new pests.
Also this fiscal year, CBP in the San Juan field office processed nearly 120,813 imported product entries representing nearly $36 billion in regional trade volume. This volume represented the collection of $118 million in revenue for the U.S. CBP officers conducted more than 136 seizures related Intellectual Property Rights violations, with a domestic value of approximately $2 million.
At the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport this year, approximately 1,507 new travelers requested and were enrolled in the agency's Trusted Traveler Programs (Global Entry) designed to expedite screening for low-risk travelers and commerce through rigorous, recurrent background checks. At the San Juan office of field operations, over 1,029 small vessel owners applied for participation in the Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS), a program that expedites processing of small vessels through advance screening. The port of San Juan is within the five top port locations for SVRS requests in the nation.
During the past fiscal year, CBP also increased its collaboration with federal, state, local, and international partners to combat individuals and criminal organizations that pose a threat to our communities. This collaboration results in interventions at and beyond our borders. Through the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG), the estimated flow of illegal migrants through the Mona Passage has registered a 90% decrease in a five year period of performance.
In FY2012, over $46 million in Operation Stonegarden funding was provided to states to enhance cooperation and coordination among local, tribal, territorial, state, and Federal law enforcement agencies in a joint mission to secure the border. Puerto Rico is among the territories receiving funding in FY2012 which includes the municipal police in Cabo Rojo, Aguadilla, Lajas, Ponce, Ceiba, and Yabucoa.
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.