Douglas, Ariz. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers prevented a narcotics smuggling attempt when they seized nearly 30 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $273,000 on March 15.
A 19-year-old U.S. citizen male from Laveen, Ariz., attempted entry to the United States at a Douglas Port vehicle lane. A CBP officer observed nervous behavior and referred the vehicle for a secondary inspection. During a more intensive inspection, officers discovered tampering of the vehicle frame rails. Subsequently, a narcotics detector dog alerted positively to the same area resulting in the discovery of 13 bundles of cocaine which were removed from the rails. The vehicle and narcotics were seized and the man was taken into custody and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) for further investigation and prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, unprecedented shifts in staffing and infrastructure at the ports of Arizona have brought a higher level of focus and intensity to their operations. These shifts have resulted in higher narcotics interceptions and tougher outbound enforcement operations yielding record illicit currency, weapons, and wanted felon interceptions.
A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Office of Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers' primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.
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.