El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at El Paso area ports of entry made 10 drug busts during the Thanksgiving weekend. The activity included a cocaine bust with a weight of 16.80 pounds and nine marijuana busts totaling 1,881.27 pounds. The estimated street value of all seized drugs is $2,042,616.
“While many area families were at home enjoying their holiday, CBP officers were busy protecting our nation at the ports of entry,” said Ana Hinojosa, U.S. Customs and Border Protection director of Field Operations in El Paso.
In the largest seizure of the holiday period, CBP officers at the Bridge of the Americas cargo facility confiscated 677.93 pounds of marijuana on Friday. The seizure was made after a 1990 GMC tractor-trailer entered the port from Mexico. CBP officers searched the tractor and found inconsistencies in the gas tank. CBP officers removed 581 marijuana-filled bundles from the gas tank.
In addition to the drug busts, CBP officers working at ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas and New Mexico made a total of four seizures of agricultural items. Violators paid $825 in penalties in association with the violations. Prohibited food products seized included apples, pork chicharrones and live plants.
CBP officers recorded 41 immigration violations at area ports this week including 11 imposters. CBP officers remain vigilant. Their thorough and diligent document exam process combined with their interview techniques helped in catching an alien smuggler who was booked without bail in the El Paso County Detention facility. Imposters generally will use a legitimate entry document assigned to another person and present it as their own. Violators generally lose their documents, can be prosecuted and go to jail and/or are returned to Mexico.
CBP officers seized documents from 13 intended immigrants. In these cases, individuals use a legally issued border-crossing card (laser visa) to live or work in the United States, which is not authorized. They also lose their documents and are generally returned to Mexico.
CBP officers also recorded 17 cases of people attempting to enter with counterfeit or altered documents, visa overstay violations and people making false claims to U.S. citizenship. People falsely claiming U.S. citizenship are prosecuted and go to jail.
CBP officers working at area ports made a total of five fugitive apprehensions during the period.
CBP Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers’ primary mission is anti-terrorism. They screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation’s food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.
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.