This Week Along the Border...

This Week Along the Border…

U.S. BORDER PATROL AGENTS, CBP OFFICERS INFORM INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ON DOCUMENT REQUIREMENTS, RESPONSIBILITIES FOR MAINTAINING STUDENT STATUS IN THE U.S.

LAREDO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents and Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers participated in Texas A&M International’s (TAMIU) Fall International Student Orientation in Laredo, Texas.

On August 22, agents presented to the international students, in the United States with an F-1 or J-1 visa, information about their responsibilities to maintain their status while in the U.S. The students also learned about the duties of the U.S. Border Patrol.  Included in the group were students from Netherlands, Germany, Nepal, Spain, Australia, Thailand, Mexico and France. read here

CBP SEIZES 55 POUNDS OF LSD INSIDE PARCEL SENT TO PUERTO RICO

AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers seized 55 pounds (25 kilos) of LSD Monday inside a parcel that arrived at the Rafael Hernandez International Airport (BQN).

LSD or lysergic acid diethylamide is classified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule I drug, substance, or chemical with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

“At DEA we have conducted many investigations of transnational criminal organizations dealing with LSD amongst other drugs, however, it is certainly unusual to seize such a significant amount.  These organizations should be aware that DEA, CBP, HSI (ICE) and the other Federal Law Enforcement agencies overseeing Puerto Rico, won’t let our guard down.   We’ll continue tracking and dismantling them. “said A.J. Collazo DEA Caribbean Division Special Agent in Charge. read here

BORDER PATROL AGENTS SEIZE COCAINE AT IMMIGRATION CHECKPOINT

EL PASO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Texas Highway 62/180 immigration checkpoint  in El Paso, Texas, , seized almost six pounds of cocaine August 21.

Agents made the seizure while conducting a routine immigration inspection of a 2005 maroon Ford Expedition in the primary inspection area. While interviewing the driver, later identified as 32-year-old Raul Cortez of Odessa, Texas, agents noted his excessively nervous behavior. A CBP canine performed a non-intrusive sniff of the vehicle and immediately alerted to a smell that he is trained to detect, indicating the possible presence of narcotics.read here

BORDER PATROL REPATRIATES TWO WANTED FELONS

EAGLE pASS, Texas – Within the past two weeks, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Del Rio Sector Foreign Operations Branch worked with the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the government of Mexico to coordinate the repatriation of two men wanted by Mexican authorities on kidnapping and homicide charges.

“The U.S. Border Patrol works closely with the government of Mexico to identify fugitives,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz. “Because of that outstanding level of cooperation, these violent criminals were quickly located and returned to Mexico to answer the egregious charges against them.”

Border Patrol agents at the FOB were contacted by Mexican government officials in July regarding two subjects wanted on kidnapping and homicide charges. One of the men was apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in November 2018 near Eagle Pass, while the other surrendered to Customs and Border Protection Officers at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry in December 2018. Both men made credible fear claims, and were ordered removed by an immigration judge after those claims were denied. read here

ILLEGAL ALIEN WITH ACTIVE WARRANT ARRESTED SMUGGLING OVER 820 POUNDS OF MARIJUANA

TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Border Patrol agents seized over 820 pounds of marijuana and arrested 11 illegal aliens in a remote, mountainous canyon southeast of Arivaca Wednesday afternoon.

Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents were alerted to a group wearing camouflage and carrying bundles of marijuana in the mountains west of Nogales. Assisted by an Air and Marine Operations helicopter, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents located and arrested 11 men. Agents discovered 36 bundles of marijuana hidden nearby, weighing approximately 820 pounds.

The Honduran, Guatamalan, and Mexican nationals, ranging in age from 15 to 38 years old, are facing federal immigration and drug smuggling charges. read here

CBP OFFICERS TAKE CUSTODY OF FUGITIVE WANTED FOR FIRST-DEGREE MURDER AND AGGRAVATED ROBBERY

LAREDO, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations officers at the Laredo Port of Entry, working in collaboration with the Government of Mexico, took custody of a United States citizen wanted on outstanding warrants for murder and aggravated robbery.

The apprehension occurred on Wednesday, Aug. 21 at the Colombia-Solidarity Bridge. CBP officers were contacted by Government of Mexico counterparts and were advised that they had apprehended a 26-year-old male United States citizen in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, who had an outstanding warrant for first-degree murder and aggravated robbery out of Shelby County in Memphis, Tennessee. CBP officers conducted a fingerprint check and utilizing national law enforcement databases confirmed his identity as 26-year-old Christian Edward Hall. Hall was turned over to U.S. Marshals and the subject was transported to the Webb County Jail. read here

BORDER PATROL AGENTS SEIZE METH AT IMMIGRATION CHECKPOINT

YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents working at the Interstate 8 Immigration Checkpoint seized over $135K in meth on Wednesday.

Late Wednesday morning, Wellton Station agents referred a gold 2001 Ford Explorer to the secondary inspection area following an alert by a Border Patrol canine. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed an anomaly in the gas tank. Upon further investigation, agents discovered 55 packages of methamphetamine hidden inside the gas tank. The narcotics had an approximate weight of 59 pounds and an estimated street value of $135,700. The driver, a U.S. citizen from Tucson, was arrested for transportation of a controlled substance. read here

YUMA SECTOR BP RESCUES PREGNANT WOMAN LOST IN DESERT

YUMA, Ariz. – U.S. Border Patrol agents working near Yuma rescued a pregnant woman and five others lost in the desert after they illegally entered the country August 15.

At approximately 1:30 p.m., Yuma Station agents apprehended a group of seven illegal aliens 15 miles east of San Luis. The group stated six individuals had remained behind. A short time later, a distress call was received from a woman stating that she and five others, including four juveniles, were lost in the desert.

Agents accompanying a Yuma Sector Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue team soon located the group, among them a 24-year-old Guatemalan woman who was four months pregnant. In route to Yuma Station, agents provided immediate aid to the pregnant female, who had begun to vomit, and contacted emergency medical services for an ambulance transport to a local hospital. read here

CBP ARRESTS WOMAN WITH FENTANYL

TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations officers at the Port of Nogales seized nearly two pounds of fentanyl on Tuesday afternoon.

Officers at the Mariposa Crossing referred a 22-year-old Altar, Sonora, Mexico, woman for further inspection at a pedestrian lane after a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted to an odor it was trained to detect. A subsequent search by officers led to the removal of 5 packages hidden in the woman’s undergarments contained almost two pounds of fentanyl pills, worth nearly $21,000.

Officers seized the drugs and arrested the subject, who was then turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. read here

BORDER PATROL ARRESTS MEN BEHAVING DANGEROUSLY

YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents encountered two men who were visibly behaving erratically in separate incidents over the weekend; it was later determined that the men were under the influence of methamphetamine.

Saturday morning, Yuma Station agents apprehended a man who illegally crossed into the United States east of the Port of San Luis and was behaving erratically. Emergency medical services assessed the Mexican national before he was taken into Border Patrol custody for immigration violations processing.

While under agent supervision, the subject struck at the light in his cell, ripped up floor matting, and urinated on the door. Records checks indicated the man is an admitted Paisa gang member with an extensive criminal history. He is being charged with property damage in addition to immigration violations. read here

BORDER PATROL AGENTS SEARCH FOR 3-YEAR-OLD AFTER GROUP CROSSES RIO GRANDE RIVER

Eagle Pass, Texas U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Eagle Pass South Station are searching for a 3-year-old boy reported missing after attempting to cross the Rio Grande River with his mother, Aug. 20.

“This is heartbreaking tragedy that occurs too often,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz. “Border Patrol agents are using all available resources in the search for the missing boy.”

At approximately 1:30 a.m., a group of 12 suspected undocumented immigrants were seen crossing the Rio Grande River near the Port of Entry. Responding agents were notified by members of the group that a woman and her 3-year-old son were swept away by the strong current while they were attempting to cross the river. Agents immediately began search and rescue efforts to locate the mother and child, with the assistance from CBP Air and Marine Operations aircraft.

On Aug. 21, at approximately 11 a.m., Eagle Pass South Station marine agents discovered a female body matching the description of the missing 28-year-old Honduran woman. The search for the 3-year-old is ongoing.

The body was turned over to the custody of the Maverick County Justice of the Peace. read here

CBP OFFICERS SEIZE COUNTERFEIT ELECTRONIC LOCKS AT PORTAL PORT OF ENTRY

PORTAL, N.D. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations officers at the Portal Port of Entry targeted a rail container destined to arrive in Portal.  CBP officers inspected the rail container and discovered electronic locks in violation of intellectual property rights (IPR) regulations.  On August 8, CBP seized 3,856 counterfeit locks with an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $760,841 if the goods had been genuine. read here

CBP AT LA/LONG BEACH SEAPORT SEIZES OVER 52,0000 ILLEGAL GUN PARTS FROM CHINA 

LOS ANGELES — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport in coordination with the Machinery Center of Excellence and Expertise (CEE), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), intercepted and seized 52,601 firearms parts in violation of the Chinese Arms Embargo.

The seized items described as sights, stocks, muzzles, brakes, buffer kits, and grips which arrived in three shipments from China, had a combined domestic value of $378,225.00. read here

YUMA SECTOR ARRESTS 16 IN HUMAN SMUGGLING ATTEMPTS WITH 24 HOURS

YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents foiled two human smuggling attempts at separate immigration checkpoints Sunday and Monday, resulting in 16 arrests in less than 24 hours.

At approximately 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Blythe Station agents referred the seven occupants of a white Ford Expedition to the secondary inspection area for additional questioning. Five of the individuals were determined to be Mexican nationals illegally present in the United States.

In the second event, 1:30 a.m. Monday morning, Wellton Station agents referred a Dodge Ram wagon to the secondary inspection area. After questioning, agents determined seven of the vehicle’s nine occupants were illegally present in the United States. read here

PAVING THE WAY FORWARD: CBP TRANSFORMING VIRGIN ISLANDS TRADE THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands – Back in 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) started the process to find a practical way to incorporate the U.S. Virgin Islands into the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) in order to expedite the importation process.

Fast forward to Aug. 2019, in an event at the Ron De Lugo Federal Building titled “Paving the way forward: Transforming the V.I. Trade through Technology” CBP updated the USVI trade community on the implementation the cargo automation initiatives. read here

CBP ARRESTS MAN WANTED ON MULTIPLE FELONY SEX OFFENSES

ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y.  – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Alexandria Bay Port of Entry arrested a 26-year-old man from West Fargo, North Dakota who was wanted for multiple felony sex offenses in Stevens County, Minnesota.

 

On August 17, CBP officers encountered a U.S. citizen as he was returning to the U.S. from Canada. A CBP officer’s initial database check revealed that the subject was a possible match to an outstanding arrest warrant. A biometric verification confirmed his identity and an arrest warrant from the Stevens County Sherriff’s Office relating to multiple felony sex offenses was confirmed through the National Crime Information Center database. read here

BORDER PATROL ARRESTS SEXUAL OFFENDER IN EASTERN ARIZONA

TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a previously deported sex offender discovered among a group of illegal immigrants in eastern Arizona early Monday.

Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents encountered the group of two men, one woman, and a juvenile while responding to a request for assistance from a Greenlee County Sheriff’s deputy near Clifton, Arizona.

Agents interviewing the group learned all five Mexican nationals were illegally present in the country. Records checks revealed one of the men, 32-year-old Zacarias Bautista-Emiliano, had an extensive criminal history in the United States. read here

BORDER PATROL AGENT CEPEDA HONORED BY CITY OF LAREDO AS VETERAN OF THE MONTH

LAREDO, Texas – On August 19, the City of Laredo honored Border Patrol Agent (BPA) Benigno G. Cepeda by recognizing him as the Veteran of the Month during a city council meeting.

BPA Cepeda proudly joined the United States Marine Corps in 1996 and served four years including overseas duty in Okinawa, Japan, and finished his tour in Camp Pendleton, California.  He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal for distinguishing himself through heroic or meritorious achievement or service.  He was also recognized for his years of honorable service with the U.S. Marine Corps with the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal. read here

BORDER PATROL STOPS MARIJUANA SMUGGLING ATTEMPTS IN THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY

EDINBURG, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley disrupted several narcotic smuggling attempts over the past three days.

Early Saturday morning, agents responded to the report of several subjects who illegally entered the United States near Rio Grande City, Texas, carrying bundles of narcotics on their backs. As responding agents encountered the group, the smugglers abandoned the bundles and fled to Mexico. An immediate search of the area resulted in the seizure of three large bundles of marijuana weighing over 170 pounds and worth an estimated $137K.

Similarly, that evening agents responded to a report of several illegal border crossers near Calaboz, Texas, carrying bundles of marijuana. Agents responded to the area and located three abandoned bundles of narcotics. Agents searched the area but did not locate the smugglers. The marijuana weighed over 150 pounds worth an estimated $123K. read here

ILLEGAL BORDER CROSSER ARRESTED BY HOULTON BORDER PATROL, VEHICLE SEIZED

HOULTON, Maine – On Friday, August 16, U.S. Border Patrol agents responded to a report of a vehicle crossing the border illegally in Houlton. A short time later, responding agents located the vehicle and arrested the Canadian citizen driver.

The vehicle, a green 2005 Ford Focus, was located by responding agents. The driver of the vehicle, Kyle Woodcock, 24, of St. John, New Brunswick, was identified as a Canadian citizen with no record of him or the vehicle legally entering the United States. Woodcock was taken to the Houlton Station for processing and charged with 8 USC 1325, Entry Without Inspection. read here

SAN LUIS CBP OFFICERS ARREST METH SMUGGLER

TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations officers arrested a Somerton resident for attempting to smuggle nearly four pounds of meth through the Port of San Luis.

Officers referred a 28-year-old U.S. citizen for an additional inspection of his Nissan sedan as he attempted to enter the country Monday night. While searching the vehicle, officers discovered packages of meth within the vehicle’s backseats. read here

CBP ARRESTS MAN HIDING METHAMPHETAMINE ON HIS BODY

TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations officers at the Port of Nogales seized more than two pounds of meth Monday afternoon.

Officers at the Morley Pedestrian Crossing referred a 35-year-old Tucson man returning from Mexico for further inspection after a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted to an odor it was trained to detect. After a subsequent search, officers discovered two packages hidden in the man’s groin area contained more than two pounds of meth, worth nearly $2,000. read here

CBP OFFICER SAVES CHOKING TODDLER

DONNA, Texas – A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer temporarily assigned to the Donna, Texas soft-side facility is credited with saving the life of a child on Sunday.

While working at the facility, CBP Officer Stacey McIsaac noticed a 1-year old child choking on his food. She responded by performing the Heimlich maneuver and then clearing the child’s airway. Emergency Medical Technicians evaluated the child and medically cleared him. According to the child’s, mother the young boy was eating when he suddenly stopped breathing.

“This life-saving action illustrates how quickly our officers and agents respond when they see something not quite right,” said Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Rodolfo Karisch. “Her actions embody the character of our men and women serving our frontline.” read here

BORDER PATROL ARRESTS CRIMINAL ALIENS IN THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY

EDINBURG, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector identify and arrest an MS-13 gang member and a sex offender in separate incidents.

On August 14, 2019, agents apprehended a group of twelve subjects attempting to illegally enter the United States near Rio Grande City, Texas. During record checks, agents discovered one of the subjects is a member of the Mara Salvatrucha gang, commonly referred to as MS-13.

On August 15, 2019, Falfurrias agents patrolling in Brooks County encountered a group of ten illegal aliens attempting to circumvent the immigration checkpoint. During processing, record checks on one of the subjects revealed a July 2016 arrest in Wyoming, Michigan, for criminal sexual assault of a victim between 13 – 15 years of age and accosting children for immoral purposes. The man pled guilty to both charges and received a sentence of one year in prison. read here

PRODUCTIVE WEEKEND YIELDS OVER $4.5 MILLION IN NARCOTICS FOR CBP FIELD OPERATIONS AT HIDALGO INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE

HIDALGO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo International Bridge were busy this weekend not only processing legitimate trade and travelers but intercepting narcotics worth a total of $4,613,000.

“Not only were students getting ready for a new school year but it appeared like smugglers were also attempting to get going,” said Port Director Sylvia Briones, Port of Hidalgo/ Pharr/ Anzalduas. “Our officers stood up to the challenge and intercepted two substantial loads of hard narcotics.” read here

CBP FIELD OPERATIONS INTERCEPTS NARCOTICS IN COMMERCIAL SHIPMENTS AT PHARR INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE

PHARR, Texas—Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility foiled two smuggling attempts of marijuana and cocaine, in separate unrelated incidents that totaled over $2 million in street value.

On Aug. 16, CBP officers assigned to the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility encountered a commercial shipment of floor tile arriving from Mexico. A CBP officer referred the tractor/trailer for further examination, which included a non-intrusive imaging  (NII) system inspection. Officers conducting the secondary inspection located 430 packages of alleged marijuana hidden within the shipment that weighed 1,079 pounds (489.5 kg) and which had an estimated street value of $216,000. read here

AMO SEIZES COCAINE WORTH $17 MILLION, ARRESTS 2 MEN NEAR PUERTO RICO’S EASTERN COAST

FAJARDO, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents, with support from the Puerto Rico Army National Guard and Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) partners seized Monday night 1,493 pounds (677 kilos) of cocaine and arrested two men near the Punta Santiago area of the municipality of Humacao, in the island’s east coast.  The estimated value of the seized cocaine is $17 million.

On the evening of Aug. 19, CBP AMO Marine Interdiction Agents from the Fajardo Marine Unit received a notification that a Puerto Rico Army National Guard helicopter had detected a lights out “yola” type vessel entering the area of Punta Santiago in Humacao, Puerto Rico. The aircraft crew could observe two persons on board and multiple bales of suspected contraband, as well as five individuals on the shoreline. read here

SEATTLE CBP OFFICERS APPREHEND CRUISE SHIP DESERTER

SEATTLE—On Monday, August 12, 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) conducted an enforcement operation regarding the apprehension of an individual identified as a crewmember who deserted a maritime vessel.  In 2015 the subject who was a crewmember onboard a cruise ship deserted the vessel without authorization from CBP nor knowledge of the cruise line.

CBP, with assistance from the Border Security Enforcement Task Force, located the subject’s current residence and apprehended the subject outside his home. The subject was positively identified and placed under arrest.  He will be processed for removal proceedings. read here

BORDER PATROL NABS NEARLY 200 IN REMOTE SOUTHWEST NEW MEXICO

ANTELOPE WELLS, N.M. – United States Border Patrol agents working in Antelope Wells, New Mexico apprehended another large group of illegal aliens early August 18.

The 194 illegal aliens in this group and like many others before was comprised primarily of Central American families and unaccompanied juveniles. read here

BORDER PATROL PREVENTS NARCOTICS SMUGGLING ATTEMPT

AREDO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents prevented an attempt to smuggle marijuana through a checkpoint located near Hebbronville, Texas.

The incident occurred on Aug. 18, when a black pickup truck approached the primary inspection area of the checkpoint on State Highway 16.

While agents conducted an immigration inspection on the driver, a K-9 alerted to the vehicle. The driver was referred to secondary inspection where agents discovered two bundles of marijuana concealed within luggage located in the back seat. read here

NOLA BORDER PATROL ARRESTS 15 ILLEGAL ALIENS CAUGHT USING FAKE DOCUMENTS

NEW ORLEANS —U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) New Orleans agents arrested 15 illegal aliens, including one unaccompanied minor, who were suspected of using fraudulent documents at the Gulf Coast Safety Council (GCSC) in St. Rose, La., Wednesday morning.

USBP agents, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, and Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of Investigations special agents encountered the individuals at the GCSC, which provides industry-specific safety training for multiple local employers. The suspects had what appeared to be counterfeit social security cards and driver’s licenses. After a brief investigation, 14 Mexican suspects and one Nicaraguan suspect were found to be illegal aliens and were arrested. read here

CBP AIR AND MARINE OPERATIONS SEARCHING FOR FIREFIGHTERS MISSING AFTER FISHING TRIP

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two off-duty firefighters have been reported lost at sea since Friday, Aug. 16, near Port Canaveral, Fla.  CBP Air and Marine Operations (AMO) is currently conducting search and rescue missions in hopes of locating the two men.

AMO in Jacksonville has deployed a P-3 Orion Long Range Tracker crew, two Multi-Role Enforcement Aircraft crews, and a marine crew onboard an Interim Midnight Express to assist in the search. read here

 

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