Dozens of Violations Stopped by CBP Officers During Past Week
El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at El Paso area ports of entry identified more than 125 violations during the past seven days. CBP officers seized drugs, arrested illegal immigrants, captured fugitives and stopped prohibited agricultural items from entering the U.S. at ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas, and New Mexico.
During the past seven days CBP officers recorded a total of 20 drug busts. They seized 1,405 pounds of marijuana in 18 incidents and five pounds of methamphetamine and 1.3 pounds of cocaine in two additional enforcement actions.
CBP officers uncovered 80 immigration violations during the last week. Intended immigrants made up the largest group of violators. A total of 36 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 12 impostors during the three day 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.
"These cases often involve felons who have been previously removed from the country and are barred from legal reentry," said Patricia Aveitia, U.S. Customs and Border Protection acting director of Field Operations. "Stopping these potentially dangerous people is an important part of our mission of protecting our nation."
The balance of the immigration violators included those making false claims to U.S. citizenship, people attempting to enter with counterfeit or altered documents, visa overstay violations and people who had entered the country without inspection.
CBP officers working at area ports identified 13 wanted fugitives during the previous week.
Area CBP officers made 13 seizures of prohibited food and agricultural items this week, resulting in $2,500 in fines being assessed. Prohibited items seized this week included chorizo, pork wieners, apples, oranges, guavas, hawthorns, tangerines, limes, sweet potatoes and live plants.
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.