CBP U.S. Border Patrol Arrests Multiple Sex Offenders
(03/14/2012) – Tucson, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended three Mexican nationals in the last 24 hours who were illegally present in the U.S. and have previous convictions for sex crimes.
Agents assigned to the Tucson Station arrested a male from Michoacan, Mexico yesterday who, according to records found in a national database, was convicted in 2007 for Rape of Spouse by Force in Monterrey, Calif. The subject now faces federal charges.
Early this morning, Nogales agents apprehended a male from Nayarit, Mexico with a prior conviction for Sexual Conduct with a Female Minor in Phoenix in 1998. He is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for re–entry of an aggravated felon.
Also early this morning, agents apprehended a male from Veracruz, Mexico who was convicted of Child Molestation and Voyeurism in Franklin County, Wash., in 2011. The subject is being criminally prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for re–entry of a felon.
The Tucson Sector Border Patrol is committed to keeping dangerous criminals from entering our communities. All individuals apprehended undergo a criminal history check using the Integrated Automated Fingerprints Identification System (IAFIS), allowing agents to quickly identify and classify violent criminals and wanted persons. IAFIS ensures individuals are brought to an appropriate law enforcement resolution and penalties are upheld to the fullest extent of the law.
Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling (877) 872–7435 toll free.
Border Patrol Agents Seize $92k
(03/14/2012) – Yuma, Ariz. – Border Patrol agents from Yuma Sector's Blythe Station seized $92,900 in two separate incidents while conducting checkpoint operations on Interstate 10 during the weekend.
Agents referred a pickup truck to secondary inspection Friday following a canine team alert. After the driver consented to a vehicle search, agents discovered $51,000 cash inside a backpack, and marijuana–growing equipment in the pickup's cargo area.
Saturday, agents referred a sedan to secondary inspection following a canine team alert. Agents received consent to search the vehicle and found $41,900 cash concealed in the bottom liner of a duffle bag.
The suspects, cash and vehicles were turned over to Riverside County Sherriff's Office.
When Border Patrol agents discover large amounts of currency during checkpoint inspections, they investigate further to determine whether the currency has a nexus to illicit activity. During fiscal year 2011, the Yuma Sector seized more than $800,000 determined as profits generated from illegal activity.
Nogales Bust Nets Meth, Heroin Worth $431k
(03/14/2012) –Nogales, Ariz. – Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Tucson Field Office made two separate drug seizures Monday, resulting in more than 23 pounds of methamphetamine and five pounds of heroin being seized; a combined value of nearly $431,000.
Officers at the Mariposa Port referred a 21–year–old Nogales woman for a secondary inspection of her Ford sedan when she attempted to enter the United States. After a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs, officers located 23 packages of methamphetamine in the dashboard.
Officers at the Morley Pedestrian crossing referred a 32–year–old Mexican woman for additional questioning when she attempted to enter the United States. When an officer inspected her belongings, four packages of heroin were found in her purse.
In both cases, property and drugs were seized. Both subjects were arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
Individuals arrested may be charged by complaint, the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
El Centro Sector Border Patrol Seize Cocaine Worth $7.3 Million
(03/13/2012) – Westmorland, Calif. – On March 11, 2012, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio station seized a substantial amount of cocaine at the Highway 86 Checkpoint near Westmorland.
The incident occurred at approximately 9 p.m., after a Border Patrol Canine Team performed a cursory search that alerted to a white Chevrolet utility–truck. Agents used a large scale imaging system to scan the vehicle which revealed several anomalies within three utility–truck tires located on the bed of the truck. The anomalies led agents to investigate further.
The agents discovered 82 sealed packages of cocaine weighing approximately 230 pounds, within the tires. The cocaine was given an estimated street value of more than $7.3 million. The driver, a 25–year–old male United States citizen was arrested.
The driver, narcotics and vehicle were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Human Smugglers Apprehended at Border Patrol Checkpoint
(03/13/2012) – Tucson, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents detected two illegal immigrants concealed in the trunk of a vehicle and arrested two male U.S. citizens at the Interstate 19 checkpoint last night.
A Border Patrol canine team alerted to a vehicle which was then sent to secondary inspection where the driver and passenger were asked to exit the vehicle. Using non–intrusive inspection technology, agents discovered two individuals hiding in the trunk of the vehicle. An inspection of the trunk also revealed there were no internal release levers or mechanisms that would allow a person to exit. The illegal immigrants hiding in the trunk were taken to the Nogales Station and will be processed for removal. Both U.S. citizens are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for alien smuggling.
Checkpoints play a vital role in the Border Patrol's ability to restrict routes of egress from border areas. The use of advanced technology at checkpoints assists Border Patrol agents in quickly detecting smuggling attempts, thereby interfering with the ability of transnational criminal organizations to move people and contraband further into the U.S.
Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity and remain anonymous by calling the Border Patrol toll–free at (877) 872–7435.
CBP Agriculture Specialists Stop Prohibited Seeds, Cache of Mangoes, & Smuggled Bird Carcasses at San Diego Border. Prevent Prohibited Items that Could Carry Pests and Disease from Entering U.S.
(03/12/2012) – San Diego – U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at San Diego area ports of entry last week stopped prohibited agriculture items from entering the U.S. undeclared: ten pounds of raw bird carcasses; 57 mangoes; and flower seeds embedded in jewelry packaging.
At about 6:45 p.m. on Monday, March 5, a 27–year–old male U.S. citizen and resident of San Diego arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry driving a 2008 Jeep. The CBP officer conducting his inspection noticed a large ice chest with seafood in the vehicle, and made a referral for further inspection.
During the intensive inspection, a CBP agriculture specialist with an agriculture detector dog screened the ice chest and the canine alerted. The CBP agriculture specialist discovered that inside the ice chest, underneath the seafood, was about ten pounds of raw bird carcasses.
CBP agriculture specialists seized the carcasses, which were incinerated on site, and assessed the driver a $300 penalty for failing to declare the prohibited items.
Raw avian products can be a host of foreign animal diseases, such as exotic Newcastle disease, that can be contagious and fatal to poultry. Transporting these products from Mexico is prohibited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and enforced at the border by CBP.
At about 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, a 71–year–old male legal permanent resident of the U.S. arrived on foot to the Otay Mesa passenger port of entry. As part of his inspection, CBP agriculture specialists had the man submit the package he was traveling with, a milk crate full of food items, for an x–ray inspection.
During the x–ray, the CBP agriculture specialist noticed several anomalies and decided to physically inspect the crate and its contents. The agriculture specialist found 57 mangoes hidden inside the crate beneath layers of cheese and papers.
Agriculture specialists seized the mangoes and inspected them before destroying them, and issued the man a $300 civil penalty for failing to declare the prohibited items.
Mangoes from Mexico are prohibited from being brought by travelers because they are hosts for exotic fruit flies, like the Mexican fruit fly. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the Mexican fruit fly is among the world's most destructive pests and can destroy many types of fruit. Female fruit flies lay their eggs in ripening fruit. The eggs hatch into larvae that eat the flesh of the fruit, causing it to rot.
On March 5, 2012, a driver brought a shipment listed as jewelry to the Otay Mesa Cargo port of entry that included 1,296 bracelets. The CBP officer referred the shipment to the dock for a more intensive inspection. During the inspection, a CBP officer noticed seeds embedded in the paper packaging for the bracelets and contacted CBP agriculture specialists for assistance.
CBP agriculture specialists confirmed that the packaging contained seeds intended for planting; however, the seeds were not listed on the cargo manifest and were not accompanied by the necessary documentation.
CBP agriculture specialists submitted a seed sample to specialists with the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine program. ( Aphis Plant Health ) On March 8, the USDA specialists identified the seeds as Nemophila menziesii, a blue and white wildflower. The truck and cargo were returned to Mexico.
CBP Has Multiple Khapra Beetles Intercepts in New York and New Jersey
(03/16/2012) – Newark, N.J. – U. S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists serving the greater New York & New Jersey area intercepted the Khapra Beetle six times during a one–month period.
During the month of February, CBP agriculture specialists from John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and the Port of New York/New Jersey had six Khapra Beetle intercepts combined.
"CBP agriculture specialists continually demonstrate their vigilance in intercepting these extremely destructive pests that could wreak significant damage to our agricultural and economic interests," said Robert E. Perez, Director, Field Operations, New York Field Office.
These pests were found by CBP in both the air and sea cargo environment. Once the specimen is identified as the Khapra Beetle, CBP issues an Emergency Action Notification to the importer.
The Khapra Beetle is an extremely serious pest to grain and other stored products. This pest may also show up in a variety of locations that are not obvious food sources such as burlap bags, corrugated boxes (where they feed on the glue) and animal hides. Native to India, the Khapra Beetle has spread to other countries in Africa, the Middle East, the Near East, pockets of Europe and Eastern Asia. It has been designated as one of the 100 worst invasive species worldwide.
CBP at JFK Seize Over 26 Pounds of Cocaine Over the Weekend
(03/15/2012) – Jamaica, N.Y. – In two separate incidents over the February 11th weekend, U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at New York's JFK Airport arrested individuals for allegedly smuggling cocaine.
On Saturday, February 11, Jose Rodriguez of Brooklyn, N.Y., was returning to the U.S. from Santiago, Dominican Republic. Rodriguez, 24, presented himself and his checked bags for inspection. Upon further examination, officers discovered a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine. Rodriguez was arrested and a total of 14.8 pounds of cocaine was seized.
On Sunday, February 12, Samuel Prashad of Jamaica, N.Y., arrived off of a flight from Georgetown, Guyana. During an inspection of his checked luggage, CBP officers discovered a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine. Prashad was placed under arrest and 11.8 pounds of cocaine was seized.
The total weight of the seized narcotics was 26.6 pounds and had an approximate street value of over $850,000.
"CBP Officers demonstrate their dedication to our mission and agency core values of vigilance, integrity and service in an exemplary manner," said Robert E. Perez, Director of New York Field Operations.
Both men were turned over to agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations. They now face federal narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the U.S. Eastern District Court of New York.
All defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty.
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