Champlain, N.Y. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Field Operations announced the seizure of 35 pounds of marijuana and the arrest of two residents of Canada in the smuggling attempt.
On January 12, CBP officers encountered 24-year-old Victoria Giasson and 22-year-old Elizabeth Deer- Downes, both residents of Kahnawake, Quebec, as they applied for admission into the United States at the Champlain, N.Y. port of entry. The subjects advised the primary CBP officer that they were destined to Plattsburgh, N.Y. to shop and had nothing to declare. A cursory inspection of the vehicle's trunk revealed vacuum-sealed bags of what appeared to be marijuana. Both subjects were secured and escorted into the CBP facility. The vehicle was taken to a secondary inspection area for further examination.
During the course of the vehicle inspection, CBP officers discovered 49 bags of marijuana concealed in the spare tire area of the trunk. Further inspection of the vehicle interior revealed an additional 12 bags of marijuana under the rear seat covered by the child's seat in which Deer-Downes 3-year-old daughter was secured.
"The marijuana seized by CBP had a total weight of 35 pounds and a street value of approximately $100,000," said Acting Director of Field Operations for the Buffalo Field Office James Collingwood.
Both subjects were arrested for possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance, and turned over to the Clinton County Sheriff's Office for prosecution by the Clinton County District Attorney's Office. Deer-Downes 3-year-old daughter was subsequently turned over to the custody of her grandmother. The vehicle was also seized by CBP and turned over to the Clinton County Sheriff's Office as evidence.
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.