(Monday, November 08, 2010)
El Paso, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at El Paso area ports of entry recorded a wide variety of enforcement actions during a busy weekend. CBP officers made numerous fugitive apprehensions, stopped drug smuggling attempts, uncovered immigrations violations, and located prohibited agriculture items while inspecting inbound and outbound traffic at area border crossings. CBP officers also rendered first aid to a woman who delivered a baby at port of entry restroom
“CBP officers remain committed to enforcing the laws of the United States while they execute their primary homeland security mission at our area ports,” said Ana Hinojosa, CBP Director of Field Operations in El Paso. “CBP employees take pride in knowing they are doing their part to keep the communities where they work and live as safe as possible.”
CBP officers working at area ports made a total of 10 fugitive apprehensions during the three day period including a 60-year-old Horizon City (Texas) man who was being sought on an outstanding warrant for indecency with child – sexual contact. CBP officers arrested Humberto Estrada Pimental shortly after noon Saturday at the Ysleta international crossing. After confirming his warrant information he was turned over to the El Paso County Sherriff’s Office and booked into the El Paso County Jail.
CBP officers working at area ports of entry seized 923 pounds of marijuana in five incidents. The largest drug bust of the weekend occurred Sunday afternoon at the Columbus port of entry. CBP officers discovered 551 pounds of marijuana hidden in the floorboard of 2004 Ford Expedition that entered the port from Mexico. The car was driven by a 22-year-old Colorado woman who was traveling with her 1 ½ year-old son.
CBP officers arrested Vanessa Fuller of Aurora, Colorado. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents to face federal drug smuggling charges. Her son was turned over to representatives of the New Mexico Department of Child Protective Services.
During the previous three days area CBP officers uncovered 55 immigration violations. Intended immigrants made up a large group of the violators. A total of 23 were identified through thorough document exams. In these cases individuals will use a legally issued border-crossing card (laser visa) to live or work in the U.S., which is not authorized. Violators generally lose their documents and are returned to Mexico.
CBP officers this weekend also identified 10 imposters while performing inspections at area ports. Imposters generally will use a legitimate entry document assigned to another person and present it as their own. CBP officers also recorded 22 cases of people making false claims to U.S. citizenship, people attempting to enter with counterfeit or altered documents, and stopping those who previously entered the country illegally.
CBP agriculture specialists working at area ports made nine seizures of prohibited food and agricultural items this weekend, resulting in $2,100 in fines being assessed. Prohibited items seized this weekend included pork, bologna, guavas, sugar cane, tangerines, apples, peaches, live plants and cotton seeds.
At approximately 2 p.m. Sunday, CBP officers at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing were summoned by janitorial staff who heard a woman screaming in a public restroom. A CBP officer entered and found a woman in the process of giving birth. The CBP officer radioed for assistance however the woman had already delivered a baby girl. CBP officers provided first aid until EMS arrived to assist and transport the 22-year-old woman and her baby to University Medical Center.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.
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.