This Week at the Border

This Week at the Border

BORDER PATROL AGENTS CARE FOR SMUGGLED TODDLER

“Del RIO, Texas – Border Patrol agents assigned to the Uvalde Station cared for a smuggled toddler over the course of nearly 24 hours after Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents recovered the child from two unrelated individuals identified as a fraudulent family unit, Sept. 23.

“Of all the people that smugglers exploit, children are the most vulnerable,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz. “Thanks to the cooperative efforts between HSI and Border Patrol, this child was removed from a dangerous situation and properly cared for.”

Early this week HSI special agents identified a smuggling case involving a false family claim in which two individuals were taken into custody for attempting to smuggle a small child. During the course of the investigation, HSI determined the smugglers had no relation to the child. The Uvalde Border Patrol Station, being better suited to care for the child overnight, assisted HSI by assuming custody. Agents personally cared for the toddler over the course of three shifts. After nearly 24 hours, the child was placed in the custody of Health and Human Services.” read here

CBP ISSUES GUIDANCE ON BRINGING RAW PET FOOD INTO THE UNITED STATES

“SWEETGRASS, Mont. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, Area Port of Sweetgrass wants importers and the traveling public to know that raw pet food is not allowed into the United States, unless accompanied by an import permit issued by U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services. Recently, CBP Agriculture Specialists at northern land border ports of entry have seen an increase in the number of travelers arriving with frozen, raw pet food to be fed to their dogs.

Raw pet foods raise the risk of introducing animal diseases, which have the potential to cause widespread illness and death to livestock. Diseases such as African swine fever, avian influenza, foot-and-mouth disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy would result in tremendous economic losses to livestock producers, if they are introduced into the United States.” read here

CITIZEN REPORT LEADS TO ARREST AND PROSECUTION OF ILLEGAL BORDER CROSSERS

“ST JOHN, N.D. U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Grand Forks Sector arrest two illegal aliens after concern [sic] citizen tip leads to the pairs arrest.

Border Patrol agents arrest 2 near St John, ND

On September 9, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Bottineau Border Patrol Station received information from a concerned citizen who saw a photo of two subjects with backpacks on a game camera located in the St. John, North Dakota area. Agents responded to investigate and located foot prints of two subjects crossing from Canada into the United States. While tracking the two subjects, inclement weather rolled into the area with heavy rains preventing further tracking operations. Due to the weather conditions agents advised local law enforcement to be on the lookout for the subjects seen the photo. Shortly after notifying local law enforcement partners, Rolette County Sheriff’s deputies encountered the two subjects walking on Highway 43 who matched the description. Agents immediately responded and performed immigration inspections on both subjects who freely admitted to illegally entering the United States from Canada.” read here

CBP OFFICERS SEIZE SHIPMENT OF VARIOUS DRUGS AT PEMBINA PORT OF ENTRY

“PEMBINA, N.D. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations officers at the Pembina Port of Entry targeted a commercial shipment that arrived in Pembina on Sept. 20.  CBP officers inspected the shipment manifested as jeans and T-shirts and discovered a variety of drugs.  The package contained 164 grams of marijuana, 123 grams of psilocybin mushrooms and 884 grams of THC gummies.  All drugs were seized.

While CBP’s number-one mission is to prevent terrorism in our homeland, CBP Officers also work to keep narcotics out of our communities,” said Pembina Area Port Director Jason Schmelz. “Our officers work tirelessly to secure our border ensuring that illicit items are not entering the country.” read here

NOGALES CBP OFFICERS SEIZE $1.9 MILLION WORTH OF HARD DRUGS

“TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, officers at the Port of Nogales seized more than 515 pounds of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl over the past 5 days. 11 U.S. citizens and a Mexican national are in custody for their connection to the drug seizures.

Several of the most significant seizures include the following;

Early Friday morning, officers at the Dennis DeConcini Crossing referred a 47-year-old female for further inspection of her Ford sedan when she attempted to enter the U.S. After a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted to the presence of a scent it was trained to detect, officers removed more than 120 packages from throughout the vehicle. The packages, which were determined to be methamphetamine, weighed 123 pounds, with an estimated value of worth nearly $111,000.” read here

CBP FIELD OPERATIONS SEIZES $715K IN CURRENCY AT HIDALGO INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE

“HIDALGO, Texas—Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo International Bridge intercepted $715,010 in unreported U.S. currency in a commercial bus attempting to enter into Mexico.

“This seizure certainly ranks amongst the most notable currency interceptions accomplished by the Hidalgo Port of Entry,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez. “In our past encounters, these large sums of unreported currency are usually associated with illicit activities and OFO will seize these proceeds.”

Stacks of bills totalling $715,010 in unreported currency seized by CBP officers at Hidalgo International Bridge

This seizure occurred on Sept. 24 after CBP officers conducting outbound operations at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge referred a commercial bus for further inspection. A thorough examination, which included the utilization of a non-intrusive imaging (NII) system, resulted in officers discovering 32 packages containing U.S. currency hidden within the bus. The currency denominations included $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100, with the majority being $20 bills.” read here

CBP LAUNCHES FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY AT DETROIT METRO AIRPORT TO EXPEDITE ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES

“DETROITU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched Simplified Arrival at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) today, September 25.  Simplified Arrival is modernizing international arrivals for air travelers and crew by automating processes and biometrically matching the traveler to their travel document using face comparison technology.

CBP is committed to implementing an integrated biometric entry-exit process that provides significant benefits to air travel partners in addition to meeting the security mandate for a biometric entry-exit system. As part of its innovation efforts, CBP built a face biometric matching service, creating an ecosystem that supports the use of face comparison technology throughout the international passenger journey to include biometric exit, entry, and other passenger services.” read here

GANG MEMBERS IDENTIFIED BY BORDER PATROL IN THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY

“EDINBURG, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector arrested two members from dangerous gangs.

Early Thursday morning, Rio Grande City agents working near Roma, Texas, arrested a Salvadoran national after he illegally entered the United States. During processing, record checks revealed he is a member of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang.” read here

YUMA SECTOR AGENTS ARREST PREVIOUSLY DEPORTED FELON

“YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a 29-year-old man with a felony criminal history early Monday morning near Blythe, California.

At approximately 1:45 a.m., Blythe Station agents conducted a vehicle stop on Interstate 10. During record checks on the two occupants of the vehicle, agents discovered one of the men was present in the United States illegally.” read here

CBP ARRESTS WANTED MAN ARRIVING FROM PANAMA INTO SAN JUAN

“SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers arrested a man Monday with an outstanding warrant for multiple felonies arriving on a flight from Panama into the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport.

On Sep. 23, CBP officers arrested Victor Manuel Perez-Aviles, 22, after receiving an arrest warrant issued by the Puerto Rico Superior Court in Caguas for charges related to homicide, weapons violations, aggravated robbery, conspiracy and kidnapping.  The local court issued a $1 million dollar bond for his arrest.

“We work with local authorities to arrest individuals seeking to move via the transportation system undetected,” indicated Roberto Vaquero, Assistant Director of Field Operations for Border Security in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.” read here

DEPORTED HONDURAN SEX OFFENDER CAUGHT BY CBP

“TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a previously deported sex offender from Honduras Monday night near Sells.

Tucson Sector agents patrolling a remote trail encountered and arrested 32-year-old Henrry Zelaya-Flores after he illegally entered the United States from Mexico through the desert.” read here

LOUISVILLE CBP SEIZES $90m IN COUNTERFEIT MERCHANDISE

“LOUISVILLE, Ky.- Since the middle of July, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Express Consignment Operations hub in Louisville have seized counterfeit bracelets and other jewelry worth over $90 million if the goods were genuine.

From July 17 to 31, CBP officers seized three large shipments of counterfeit bracelets totaling more than $42 million. This seizure led to the arrest of a pastor in North Carolina who was discovered with a cache of more than 3,200 fake Cartier bracelets. On August 2, North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall announced that church pastor JianGang “Frank” Lan was charged with felony criminal use of a counterfeit trademark and is being held under $25,000 bond in the Orange County Jail.” read here

BORDER PATROL ARRESTS CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER

“CALEXICO, Calif. – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro Sector arrested a previously removed sex offender Saturday night.

The incident occurred at around 8:20 p.m., when agents assigned to the Calexico Station encountered a man suspected of illegally entering the United States approximately one half of a mile east of the Calexico West Downtown Port of Entry.  Agents arrested the man and transported him to the El Centro Station for immigration and criminal history screening.

Agents conducted records checks, which revealed that the man, later identified as Mario Valladolid, a 39-year-old Mexican national, was convicted of sexual assault in 2004 in the state of Utah.  Valladolid was sentenced to 1-15 years confinement for his conviction.” read here

LAW ENFORCEMENT DISCOVERS TWO STASH HOUSES IN THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY

“MISSION, Texas – Border Patrol and the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office discover two stash houses operating in the Rio Grande Valley.

On Wednesday, Rio Grande Valley Sector agents received information regarding a residence in Mission, Texas, operating as a stash house. Agents requested assistance from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office and, upon arrival, discovered seven illegal aliens inside the residence. Agents determined that the subjects are from the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador and Mexico.” read here

CBP FIELD OPERATIONS SEIZES MORE THAN $1.6 MILLION IN HEROIN, COCAINE, NOREPHEDRINE AT JUAREZ-LINCOLN BRIDGE

“LAREDO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge this weekend seized a poly-drug load valued at more than $1.6 million containing heroin, cocaine and a potent amphetamine that officers discovered hidden within a passenger vehicle arriving from Mexico.

Our officers maintained strict vigilance and dedication to CBP’s border security mission and their perseverance yielded a significant poly-drug load characterized by a substantial amount of heroin,” said Port Director Albert Flores, Laredo Port of Entry. “By utilizing an effective combination of officer experience and high tech tools, our frontline officers were able to help keep their community safe.” read here

AMO SEIZES NEARLY $800K INSIDE BOAT NAVIGATING FROM FAJARDO TO ST. THOMAS

“ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents, seized Friday nearly $800,000 in undeclared currency found inside a 25-foot vessel that departed Fajardo navigating to St. Thomas.

Jose Ernesto Vazquez Colon and Abnel Belordo Colon made their initial appearances in federal court on Saturday in St. Thomas.

This is the second incident within one week in which Transnational Criminal Organizations seek to move currency,” stated Johnny Morales, Director, Air and Marine Operations for the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch. “AMO has very advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities to detect and interdict them throughout our coastal borders.”read here

BORDER PATROL AGENTS APPREHEND SEVERAL ILLEGAL ALIENS AND RECOVER A STOLEN VEHICLE

“LAREDO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Laredo North Border Patrol Station apprehended several illegal aliens and recovered a stolen vehicle west of Encinal, Texas.

The incident occurred during the early morning hours of September 23, when agents observed a pickup truck inside a ranch near Highway 44.  Agents found the pickup truck abandoned in an adjacent ranch and tracked foot sign leading to the apprehension of 12 individuals.” read here

CBP OFFICERS SEIZE $687K IN COCAINE AT HIDALGO INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE

“HIDALGO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo International Bridge arrested two Mexican citizens in connection with two separate failed drug smuggling attempts of cocaine worth $687,000.

“Due to our officers’ diligence and commitment to our mission, these drugs will no longer make it into our communities,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Port of Hidalgo/ Pharr/Anzalduas.

Packages containing more than 72 pounds of cocaine seized by CBP officers at Hidalgo International Bridge
Packages containing more than 72 pounds of
cocaine seized by CBP officers at Hidalgo
International Bridge.

On Sep. 20, a 36-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a blue Ford Lobo pickup truck arrived at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge and a CBP officer referred him for further inspection. The secondary inspection resulted in officers discovering 30 packages of alleged cocaine weighing 72.66 pounds (32.96 kg) hidden within the pickup. These drugs have a street value of $560,000.” read here

CBP RESUMES MOBILE PASSPORT CONTROL AT WASHINGTON DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

“STERLING, Va., – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) resumed the Mobile Passport Control option Monday at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Customs and Border Protection listened to concerns voiced by the traveling public and is pleased to welcome the Mobile Passport Control option back to Washington Dulles International Airport,” said Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “CBP is committed to innovation, and technologies such as Mobile Passport Control and facial comparison biometric examinations have the potential to transform the traveler’s international arrivals experience without compromising our critical border security mission.” read here

BORDER PATROL AGENTS ARREST FIVE AND SEIZE 250 POUNDS OF MARIJUANA AT NY CHECKPOINT

“SWANTON, V.T. – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Swanton Sector conducted an immigration checkpoint from September 19 – September 21, resulting in the arrest of five illegal aliens and the seizure of approximately 250 pounds of marijuana. The sector established the immigration checkpoint on Interstate 87 in North Hudson, NY.

Checkpoint operations are a critical enforcement tool for the enforcement of our immigration laws and are a part of our defense in depth strategy,” said Swanton Sector Deputy Chief Patrol Agent William Maddocks, “In addition to technology, manpower and intelligence, checkpoints help to deny access to major routes of egress away from the border and into our communities in the interior of the U.S.” read here

TWO PREVIOUSLY DEPORTED GANG MEMBERS ARRESTED BY BORDER PATROL

“CALEXICO, Calif. – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro Sector arrested a Sureño gang member as well as a Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang member over the weekend.

The first arrest occurred on Saturday, at approximately 10 p.m., when Border Patrol agents on patrol observed a man illegally enter the United States about three miles west of the Calexico Port of Entry.

Agents arrested the man and transported him to the El Centro Station for processing.” read here

BORDER PATROL AGENTS RESCUE 11 FROM RIO GRANDE RIVER

“DEL RIO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Brackettville Border Patrol Station and the Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) team, rescued 11 people stranded in the Rio Grande River, Sept. 20.

Border Patrol agents continue to warn immigrants not to attempt to cross the Rio Grande River illegally,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz. “On this occasion, help arrived in time to save the lives of these individuals.  Unfortunately, not every person attempting to illegally cross the Rio Grande River is so lucky.read here

 

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