March CBP Enforcement Activities at the International Bridge
Sault Ste Marie, Mich. - During the month of March, Sault Ste. Marie CBP Field Operations officers located at the International Bridge in Sault Ste Marie processed over 158,000 travelers while successfully interdicting 41 offenders of federal, state or local laws.
During this period a variety of illicit narcotics were seized from the traveling public and commercial carriers, resulting in arrests and penalties in violation of 21USC881, the Controlled Substances Act. In one instance, a U.S. Army soldier absent without leave (AWOL) from basic training, and in possession of a prohibited, used marijuana pipe, was intercepted at the Sault Ste Marie port of entry. While the pipe itself can be used for legitimate purposes, because it had traces of marijuana residue, it is deemed illicit and prohibited from entry or re-entry into the United States. Another incident involved a middle aged couple, both citizens of the United States, who tried to smuggle 2740 pills, acetaminophen with Codeine, classified as Schedule III Narcotics into the U.S. The illegal narcotics were seized and the couple was fined an administrative penalty. There were an additional nine incidents of travelers attempting to enter the United States carrying illicit narcotics or drug paraphernalia.
Several travelers with outstanding warrants were turned over to our partnering state and local law enforcement agencies for processing. Twenty seven persons were refused entry into the United States due to criminal history or documentary deficiencies. Two Cuban cigars were seized under Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) laws. Most Cuban articles are prohibited entry into the United States due to the trade embargo with Cuba.
Protecting America's agriculture is as important as interdicting illegal immigrants and narcotics. CBP agriculture specialists interdicted a total of 214 plants, seeds or soils that were prohibited entry into the United States. Sault Ste Marie's agriculture specialists credit these interdictions to the vigilance of our new cadre of officers on the front line. The prohibited items are from locations all around the world.
While the above violations are significant, it should be noted that the vast majority of travelers encountered by CBP at the International Bridge are law-abiding citizens. These travelers help to foster trade between the twin Saults. Devin Chamberlain, port director for the Sault Ste. Marie crossing commented, "The vigilance, service, and integrity of our hard working officers partnering with other federal, state and local agencies helps to ensure the safety and well being of all US citizens and lawful permanent residents and serves as an excellent deterrent to those who wish to do the United States harm."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) priority mission is to secure our borders, our people and our visitors from those that would do us harm, including terrorists and instruments of terror. CBP is also charged with the facilitation of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. In this dual role, CBP enforces rules and regulations for a variety of agencies.