Buffalo, N.Y. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Field Operations announced the arrest of a Cuban national wanted on federal narcotics trafficking charges.
On August 11, CBP officers received notification from Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) that Rolando Morales-Yanes, a 35-year-old Cuban National with lawful U.S. permanent resident status, was being deported from Canada and returned to the United States. Mr. Morales-Yanes attempted to enter Canada on June 19 via the Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada, but was detained by CBSA because of an active warrant. Mr. Morales-Yanes was subsequently given an order of deportation from Canada and returned to the United States today via the Peace Bridge border crossing in Buffalo.
Upon his return to the United States, CBP officers verified the validity of the nation-wide federal warrant and confirmed the extradition. The warrant was issued on March 11, 2010 by the United States Marshals Service and stems from a December 2009 arrest by the Florida Highway Patrol in Ft. Lauderdale. Mr. Morales was arrested after a traffic stop where he was found in possession of approximately 40 kilograms of cocaine. He was subsequently released on $125,000 bond and fled the United States in what appears to be an attempt to avoid prosecution.
Mr. Morales-Yanes advised CBP officers that he fled to Mexico shortly after the issuance of the warrant. He claims that he left Mexico in mid-April and traveled to Cuba and Chile before attempting to enter Canada in June. He advised CBP that he flew into Canada because he felt it would be easier to enter the United States at a land border crossing as opposed to a U.S. Airport.
Mr. Morales-Yanes was arrested by CBP and turned over to the custody of the United States Marshals Service.
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.