Blaine, Wash. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers apprehended a Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, man for an outstanding warrant issued by LeFlore County, Okla., in 1983 for alleged murder in the first degree.
Suhail Shanti, 48, a Canadian citizen, was taken into custody on June 24 by CBP officers when he arrived at the Pacific Highway Port of Entry NEXUS office to register and participate in the trusted traveler program.
As part of the interview process, Shanti's fingerprints were electronically recorded and digitally compared in the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) which resulted in the discovery of the felony warrant in the National Criminal Information Center (NCIC) data base.
The warrant for his arrest was immediately confirmed with Oklahoma officials prior to officers placing Shanti in handcuffs while he was still waiting in the NEXUS office and escorted him to a holding cell. He was turned over to the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office for extradition back to state custody.
"The use of technology in the performance of our mission to protect the American homeland is aiding our border security efforts," said Acting Port Director Deborah Engels. "Apprehending fugitives who have fled from justice no matter how long ago or far away is an important element in keeping communities safe,"
NEXUS is a trusted traveler program which facilitates the entry of prescreened, low risk, frequent border crossers who have undergone a background check. Once the applicant is approved for NEXUS, they are issued a photo identification card for use at the land border. The travel card meets the new requirements for the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) currently being implemented and permits an expedited entry into both the United States and Canada.
NCIC is a centralized automated data base designed to share information among law enforcement agencies including outstanding warrants for a wide range of offenses. In the past, CBP officers have made arrests of individuals wanted for homicide, escape, money laundering, robbery, narcotics, sexual child abuse, fraud, larceny and military desertion based on information found in NCIC.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 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.