Handful of International Travelers feeling the Holiday Blues at Washington Dulles Intl Airport
CBP Arrests 5, Seizes $18k, Issues $1,100 in Drug & Agriculture Penalties
STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) arrested five travelers on outstanding arrest warrants at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) during the holidays, seized more than $18,000 in unreported currency, issued a $500 drug possession zero tolerance penalty, and $600 in agriculture smuggling penalties.
“The men and women of Customs and Border Protection can’t take a holiday when it comes to enforcing our nation’s laws or securing our borders,” said Wayne Biondi, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Washington Dulles. “CBP remains steadfast and vigilant, and these enforcement actions are evidence of the hard work that CBP does every day to protect our citizens, our nation, and our economic well-being.”
CBP examines flight manifests and sometimes encounters passengers in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database with outstanding arrest warrants. CBP works with the wanting jurisdiction and local law enforcement to return fugitives to justice.
On average, CBP arrests 22 wanted persons every day at air, land and sea ports of entry across the United States. The five fugitives arrested at IAD included:
- Angela Park, 18, of Centerville, Va., who was wanted by Fairfax County for grand larceny. She arrived Friday from Korea.
- Aaminah Shahid, 37, of Falls Church, Va., who violated a protection order issued by Fairfax County after she arrived on a flight from London on Thursday, traveling with the subjects of the protection order.
- Hassan Bille Hassan, 27, of Portland, Oregon, who was wanted in Seattle for assault, attempted rape and failure to appear. He arrived Thursday from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
- Abdoulaye Gueye, 62, of New Orleans, who was wanted in New Orleans for fraud, and insufficient funds. He arrived on December 23 from Dakar, Senegal.
- John O’Grady, Jr., 22, of Midlothian, Va., who was wanted in Virginia for possession of dangerous drugs and marijuana distribution. He arrived on December 22 from Tokyo, Japan.
Criminal charges are merely allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Additionally, CBP officers seized $18,592 on Thursday from a Lebanon-bound family for failure to comply with federal currency reporting regulations. A CBP currency canine alerted to the family on the jetway. The family verbally reported $12,000, and then reported $14,100 on a U.S. Treasury Department currency reporting form after a CBP officer explained the law. A baggage inspection revealed several white envelopes that contained a total of $17,428 in U.S. dollars and 1,164 Euros. CBP officers seized the U.S. currency, released the Euros to the family, and then released the family to continue their trip.
There is no limit to how much currency travelers may bring to, or take from the U.S. However, federal law requires travelers to complete financial reporting forms for any amount that exceeds $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency. Travelers who refuse to comply with federal reporting requirements risk severe civil penalties, currency seizure, and potential criminal charges.
CBP officers also issued a $500 zero tolerance penalty on December 26 to a U.S. woman after officers discovered 16 grams of methamphetamine and 4.2 grams of marijuana in her carry-on bag. A CBP narcotics detector dog alerted to the woman after she arrived on a flight from Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Finally, CBP agriculture specialists assessed a $300 penalty Sunday to a woman from Cameroon who attempted to smuggle prohibited cow skins into the U.S. concealed in permissible fish and leaves, and another $300 penalty on Christmas day to an Ethiopian man who attempted to smuggle about nine pounds of prohibited ground beef.
On a typical day nationally, CBP agriculture specialists inspect over 1 million people as well as air and sea cargo imported to the United States and intercept 4,447 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 425 agriculture pests and diseases. Read more about CBP’s agriculture protection mission.
CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts narcotics, weapons, currency, prohibited agriculture products, and other illicit items. View CBP Snapshot to learn some of what CBP achieves ‘On a Typical Day.’
Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP’s Travel section to learn rules, tips and advice to help quickly complete their CBP international arrivals inspection.
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.