Norton, VT. -On June 30, Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of Norton and Border Patrol agents from Beecher Falls station, apprehended two female stowaways onboard a southbound freight train from Canada.
CBP officers discovered the two U.S. citizen women when the train passed through a Rail Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System imaging station utilizing Non-Intrusive Inspection technologies, revealing anomalies in the freight car. The images produced by the Rail VACIS scan allowed officers to promptly recognize the individuals. Subsequently, officers contacted Border Patrol agents for assistance and both stowaways were taken into custody for further inspections.
Questioning by CBP officials uncovered that the stowaways were making their way across the U.S. and crossed into Canada to visit a friend, and were on their way back to the U.S.. Both stowaways were assessed a $5,000 fine for illegally entering the U.S. without inspection and released from custody.
"The expertise of our CBP officers to effectively discern the images from the Rail VACIS and contact Border Patrol agents in a proficient manner is the type of personnel we need on our frontlines," said Norton Port Director Michel Pariseau. "I commend our officers and Border Patrol agents on their diligence in their duty to keep our border safe."
"I am very proud of the diligence and professionalism demonstrated by these CBP Officers in their ongoing efforts to protect our borders," said Boston Field Office Director Kevin Weeks.
CBP's strategy to border security is a multi-layered approach utilizing personnel, technology, intelligence and partnerships. NII imaging technologies are force multipliers that enable CBP officers and agents to scan or examine larger portions of the stream of commercial traffic for contraband while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade, cargo and passengers.
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.