Blaine, Wash. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered unmanifested commercial merchandise in the cab of a FAST-participant truck at the Pacific Highway crossing here yesterday. The Canadian driver, 32, was a member of the Free And Secure Trade program, one of CBP's Trusted Traveler Programs.
The driver arrived at the port shortly after noon with a manifested shipment of pallet lumber destined for Oakland, Calif. The tractor-trailer combination was referred for gamma-imaging screening, where an anomaly was detected in the driver's cab area. CBP officers discovered an undeclared suitcase full of plastic-wrapped clothing and fabric. The driver claimed that his boss had placed the case in the cab and told him to transport them, undeclared, to Turlock, Calif.
Commercial drivers who participate in the Free and Secure Trade program receive expedited processing through dedicated lanes when crossing the border at selected commercial ports of entry. The driver's FAST card was detained and he was assessed a $5,000.00 penalty on the undeclared commercial merchandise.
"CBP's FAST program designates drivers who have undergone U.S. and Canadian screening and have been entrusted with status as a low risk traveler," said Area Port Director Greg Alvarez. "Violations of that trust are not tolerated whether in the NEXUS or FAST lanes."
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.