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Thursday, December 31, 2009

CBP Busts Couple with 143 Pounds of Marijuana at Arizona Border

December 31, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Mariposa, Ariz. port of entry earlier this week foiled an attempt to smuggle 143 pounds of marijuana into the United States. The street value of the illicit drug is estimated to be $343,000. A couple from Sonora, Mexico was arrested in connection with the failed attempt.

CBP officers Monday were screening travelers applying for entry into the U.S. when a couple from Sonora, Mexico applied for admission. The man and woman, who were both 34-years-of-age, were traveling in a 1997 Chrysler Sebring. After routine questioning, the primary officer referred the couple for further inspection.

During secondary examination, CBP officers noticed discrepancies with the trunk area of the vehicle. Officers utilized a narcotics detection dog who alerted to presence of narcotics near the vehicles trunk and backseat area. Officers removed the backseat and discovered packages hidden within the area. A total of 34 packages were removed. The packages contained marijuana weighing 143 pounds.

The narcotics and vehicle were seized. Both occupants of the vehicle were arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.

A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Arizona Border Officers Seize Bumper Crop of Marijuana

December 30, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers yesterday stopped a drug-smuggling attempt when they seized 60 pounds of marijuana concealed in the bumpers of a vehicle. CBP officers were screening travelers about 3:30 p.m. when they became suspicious of a 1989 Ford Escort being driven by an 18-year-old woman from Sierra Vista, Arizona. Using high-tech tools, officers searched the woman’s vehicle and discovered that both bumpers of the vehicle she was driving were loaded with packages of marijuana. The total weight of marijuana was 60 pounds with an estimated street value of $96,000.

CBP seized the vehicle and the marijuana. The woman was turned over to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.

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 significant numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Officers Seize $109,000 in Marijuana in Douglas

December 30, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped a drug smuggling attempt when they seized approximately 68 pounds of marijuana concealed in a false compartment and gas tank. On December 28 at 2 p.m. CBP officers at the Douglas port of entry were screening travelers when they came in contact with a 42-year-old woman driving a 1996 Plymouth Neon accompanied by another woman 40-years-old. Both women were identified as Mexican nationals and residents of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

CBP officers selected the vehicle for inspection which resulted in the discovery of packages of marijuana concealed in a non-factory compartment built into the seat cushion of the backseat as well vacuum sealed packages floating in the gas tank. The total weight of marijuana was approximately 68 pounds with an estimated street value $109,000.

CBP officers seized the marijuana and vehicle. Both women were turned over to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation and prosecution.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Seizing Marijuana in Furniture Contributes to Busy Christmas Week for CBP Officers in El Paso



December 29, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at El Paso area ports of entry made several marijuana seizures during the Christmas week. CBP officers confiscated a total of 1,682.12 pounds of marijuana. The largest seizure of the holiday week was made on Thursday, December 24, at the Bridge of the Americas cargo facility concealed in wood furniture. The seizure was one of 19 drug busts CBP officers made during the Christmas period.

The seizure was made at approximately 10:52 a.m. when a 1993 yellow GMC Top Kick box truck hauling a load of wood furniture entered the BOTA cargo facility from Mexico. CBP officers selected the vehicle for a gamma-ray exam and identified several anomalies in the appearance of the shipment. The vehicle was moved to the inspection dock where a CBP drug sniffing dog searched the shipment and alerted to the cargo. CBP officers inspected the furniture and found numerous wrapped bundles concealed in the shipment. CBP officers removed a total of 92 marijuana-filled bundles from the shipment. The seized marijuana weighed 613 pounds.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents arrested 54-year-old Armando Valentin Lizardo-Munoz of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.

“Although most people were celebrating the holidays with family and friends, some people still tried to smuggle into the United States. Our officers have been busy helping those who are legitimately traveling to the US and stopping those that aren’t.” said Ana Hinojosa, U.S. Customs and Border Protection director of Field Operations in El Paso.

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 nine seizures of agricultural items. Violators paid $1,900 in penalties in association with the violations. Prohibited food products seized included apples, oranges, sugarcane, guavas, pork sausage, pork meat, and pork tamales.

CBP officers recorded 73 immigration violations at area ports this week including 18 imposters. CBP officers remain vigilant. Their thorough and diligent document exam process combined with their interview techniques helped in catching two alien smugglers. 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 55 intended immigrants. 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. They also lose their documents and are generally returned to Mexico.

CBP officers working at area ports made a total of 24 fugitive apprehensions during the period.

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.

Man Arrested on Child Molestation Warrant at Nogales Port

6 Others Arrested for Various Warrants

December 28, 2009:Customs and Border Protection officers at the Nogales port of entry conducting routine screening of travelers returning and departing the United States arrest seven individuals on outstanding warrants. One of whom was a 42-year-old man from Nogales, Sonora who was wanted for child molestation charges. All the arrests occurred between December 20 and December 27 at the Dennis DeConcini port of entry and Morley pedestrian crossing.

The 42-year-old man from Nogales, Sonora who was wanted for child molestation presented himself to CBP officers stating he had an outstanding warrant and wanted to turn himself in. The man was immediately secured and the warrants were confirmed. Two outstanding warrants were found, one for child molestation and the other for continuous sexual abuse of a minor. He was turned over to the local police for processing.

Another arrest was a 20-year-old female from New York who applied for admission into the U.S. at the DeConcini port of entry pedestrian crossing. Officers conducted routine checks which revealed the woman had an outstanding warrant. The warrant was issued from the state of New York for possession of stolen property and petty larceny.

Later, a 46-year-old Phoenix man was apprehended as he tried to sneak aboard a commercial train. After securing the individual, officers conducted routine checks which revealed two outstanding warrants from Guadalupe City Court for failure to appear.

Those arrested ranged in age from 19 - 46, of the seven, two were females. The outstanding warrants were for traffic violations, driving under the influence, failure to appear, child molestation, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

All seven individuals were turned over to state and local police for processing.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Border Officers Issue Nearly 35K Travel Permits & Seize Marijuana over Holiday Weekend



December 28, 2009): U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Laredo port of entry processed a greater amount of travel permits during the Christmas holiday weekend than the previous week and the previous year. Also found were two loads of marijuana that resulted in the arrests of three persons.

While some cities in our state experienced blankets of snow, CBP officers in Laredo experienced what seemed like blankets of vehicles and people. During the Christmas holiday weekend, CBP officers at the four international bridges in Laredo processed nearly 35,000 travel permits for tourists who were looking to spend the holiday with families and/or take in the day-after Christmas shopping specials.

In addition to the significant amount of travelers processed, CBP officers intercepted two separate loads of marijuana for a total combined weight of 378 pounds. The two loads of marijuana netted 121 bundles of the packaged narcotics concealed within the four tires of a pick-up truck and the bed in another truck. A narcotics detector dog and imaging systems assisted CBP officers in alerting to the presence of the odor of narcotics and anomalies in both cases.

A total of three individuals, all Mexican nationals including a woman, were arrested in relation to the two cases. CBP officers turned the three individuals over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who investigated the seizures and processed them on drug charges. The total estimated street value for the marijuana is $378,000. CBP officers also seized both vehicles involved in the smuggling attempts.

“This holiday season annually draws one of the most significant increases in travelers through the Port of Laredo, our CBP officers always remain vigilant and utilize their skills to process the number of crossings as well as to detect smuggling attempts,” said Gene Garza, port director. “It is an amazing job that CBP officers do everyday to balance travel facilitation while maintaining security at our borders.”

Officers in Buffalo Intercept Missing Person, Arrest Traveler

December 28, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Field Operations announced the apprehension of a missing 15-year-old girl from Georgia and the arrest of a 27-year-old man who accompanied her. On December 22, CBP officers encountered Jose Rivera-Perez, a 27-year-old El Salvadorian national, as he applied for admission into the United States at the Peace Bridge border crossing, Buffalo, N.Y. Rivera-Perez, was traveling with a 15-year-old female and advised CBP officers that he was being returned the U.S. after being refused entry into Canada. He stated that the two were enroute to Canada to visit family members in Toronto for the holidays. A primary name query of the 15-year-old female revealed that she may be subject of a missing persons report out of Georgia. The report was issued on December 18 and was initiated by the girl’s family. Both subjects were referred to CBP for a secondary enforcement exam.

During the course of the secondary inspection, agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and CBP officers determined that the juvenile was in fact the subject of the missing persons report. CBP officers confirmed the validity of the report with the Clarkson, Ga. Police Department. ICE and CBP also notified the juvenile’s parents, who advised that she did not have permission to travel, nor did the pair have permission to take the family car.

Additional record checks on Rivera-Perez revealed that he had been previously deported from the United States in April of 2007. Rivera-Perez admitted that he illegally reentered the United States sometime in May of 2007, doing so on foot across the U.S./Mexico border.

Rivera-Perez admitted that he and the 15-year-old female were romantically involved, and that they were going to Canada to start a new life. Rivera-Perez was charged with Transportation with Intent to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity and Re-entering the United States after Deportation. Rivera-Perez remains in the Batavia, N.Y. Federal Detention Facility pending prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Western District of New York Office. The juvenile was temporarily sheltered at the Compass House in Buffalo, N.Y. She was re-united with her family on Christmas Eve morning.

Day After Christmas Officers Seize Marijuana from Vehicle in Douglas



December 28, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped a drug-smuggling attempt the day after Christmas, when they seized 55 pounds of marijuana concealed in the quarter panels of a vehicle.

On December 26 at about 10 p. m. CBP officers were screening travelers when they became suspicious of a 1993 Nissan Sentra being driven by a 29-year-old man from Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. A special trained CBP K-9 team searched the man’s vehicle and discovered that the quarter panels contained packages of marijuana. The total weight of marijuana was 55 pounds with an estimated street value of $88,000.

CBP officers seized the vehicle and the marijuana. The man was turned over to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Califorina Border Officers Thwart Rash of Unusual Violations

December 23, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry along the California/Mexico border work each day to secure the nation’s border and stop illegal activity. While well known for seizing narcotics and stopping people from illegally entering the United States, these officers are also responsible for enforcing hundreds of other federal, state and local laws. Here are some of the unusual illegal activities officers recently stopped:

Live Canaries
November 30, at about 5:15 p.m., CBP officers at the Tecate border crossing referred an 85-year-old female Mexican citizen, and resident of Tecate, Mexico, for a more intensive inspection. When the driver exited her vehicle as part of the inspection process, she was carrying a cage, covered in a towel, with two live canaries inside. CBP officers seized the undeclared birds; the driver paid a $300 penalty.

Alcohol in Spare Tire
December 8, at about 2:15 p.m., CBP officers at the Otay Mesa border crossing pulled aside a gold GMC Suburban driven by a 58-year-old male Mexican citizen, and resident of Wilmington, Calif. During inspection, officers discovered 15 bottles of alcohol hidden inside the vehicle’s spare tire. The driver paid a $562 penalty for his smuggling attempt.

“Weight-Loss” Drug
December 8, at about 2:45 p.m., CBP officers at the Andrade border crossing stopped a 58-year-old female Canadian citizen after she failed to declare the four medication bottles in her purse. Officers determined the bottles contained 400 15mg capsules of a drug prescribed for obese patients to assist with weight-loss, worth an estimated $2,330 in the U.S. CBP seized the medication and fined the traveler.

Wooden License Plate
December 9, at about 3:45 p.m., a detector dog alerted to a tan 2004 Dodge Ram, driven by a 30-year-old male U.S. citizen and resident of San Diego, waiting in line to enter the United States. During their inspection, officers discovered that the pickup not only contained two people, hidden in the truck’s cab under a sheet, but also that the vehicle had a wooden license plate, painted to look like a normal California license plate, then placed behind a tinted plastic cover. CBP officers determined that the two people hidden behind the cab’s backseat were illegal immigrants from Mexico, one with an active, no-bail warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department for a drug-related crime. Officers arrested all three vehicle occupants.

Marijuana in Laundry Detergent Box
December 21, at about 6:00 a.m., a 40-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a blue 1993 Ford Thunderbird applied for admission to the U.S. at the San Ysidro border crossing. During the interview and inspection, a CBP officer discovered a laundry detergent box in the backseat of the vehicle with a package hidden inside. The package contained slightly more than one pound of marijuana. Officers seized the vehicle and narcotics, and turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Anabolic Steroids and Syringes Strapped to Thighs, Stuffed in Socks
December 22, CBP officers at the San Ysidro border crossing referred a 37-year-old male, U.S. citizen, and resident of San Fernando, Calif. for a more intensive inspection, where they found steroids taped to his thighs and hidden in his socks. In total, CBP officers discovered 30 ml and 12 ml of two different injectable steroids, 100 tablets of another steroid, and 36 syringes. CBP officers seized the steroids and syringes, and assessed a $14,130 penalty for the smuggling attempt.

CBP at Miami Airport Intercepts Cocaine Hidden in Hydraulic Cylinder

December 23, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized 598 pounds of cocaine that had been concealed within a hydraulic cylinder that weighed more than 11,000 pounds. The container had been selected for a routine examination by a CBP officer.

On December 21, a container holding an 11,000 pound hydraulic cylinder was selected for inspection. CBP officers from the Miami airport Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team used power tools to drill into the cylinder and discovered a white powdery substance. CBP canine Bentley was then directed to inspect the cylinder and he alerted to the presence of contraband. A subsequent field test of the substance was found to be positive for cocaine.

The officers proceeded to extract the cocaine from the cylinder. The extraction proved to be a challenge as it required the use of heavy machinery and industrial tools to transport and cut the contraband from the steel cylinder.

“This is an outstanding seizure, and it was accomplished thru the hard work and perseverance on the part of the CBP officers who use all of our resources to search for and discover contraband in order to safeguard our country,” said Director Field Operations Harold Woodward.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Smugglers Vehicle Ends Up Submerged in Rio Grande



December 23, 2009: U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Weslaco station seized 962 pounds of marijuana Tuesday. Agents on patrol south of Donna, Texas, observed a suspicious pick-up truck traveling north from the Rio Grande at a high rate of speed. When the driver spotted agents approaching he made a U-turn and headed back south towards Mexico.

In his attempt to escape, and salvage the narcotics load, the smuggler launched the vehicle off the river embankment plunging approximately 25 feet into the Rio Grande. The subject was last seen swimming to Mexico.

After the vehicle was extracted from the river, 19 bundles of marijuana with an estimated street value of $769,600 were found inside. The vehicle was seized and the Drug Enforcement Administration assumed custody of the narcotics.

CBP Officers Seize Cocaine Found Hidden in Commercial Bus, Marijuana in Spare Tire – Drugs Valued at $5.1 Million



December 22, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Hidalgo/Pharr, Texas port of entry seized approximately 158 pounds of cocaine and 41 pounds of marijuana in two separate, unrelated enforcement actions this weekend. The combined estimated street value of drugs seized is close to $5.1 million.

On December 18, CBP officers working at the Hidalgo/Reynosa International Bridge came in contact with a northbound 1995 Dina passenger bus. The driver of the bus was identified as a 37-year-old male U.S. citizen from Houston, Texas. After the initial primary inspection, the driver and bus were referred to secondary for further inspection.

While in secondary, “Laika”, a narcotic detector dog, alerted officers to the odor of narcotics emanating from the bus. A non-intrusive image scan revealed anomalies within the bus’s floor. While conducting an intensive examination of the undercarriage, CBP officers found 62 cocaine packages hidden within the bus’s floor. The driver, who was not immediately arrested, was issued at $10,000 civil penalty. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents continue to investigate this failed smuggling attempt. CBP officers seized the 1995 Dina bus.

On December 20, CBP officers working at the Pharr/Reynosa International Bridge came in contact with a northbound 1996 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. The driver was identified as Adrian Gomez, a U.S. citizen, age 20 from Pharr, Texas. A CBP officer referred the driver and pickup truck to secondary for further inspection. In secondary, officers noted discrepancies to the vehicle’s spare tire and had the tire dismantled. CBP officers discovered within the spare tire a metal container full of bulk compressed marijuana.

The marijuana weighed approximately 41 pounds and the estimated street value was close to $32,000. After his arrest, Gomez was transferred to the custody of ICE special agents who continue to investigate this failed smuggling attempt. Pending appearance before a U.S. Magistrate, Gomez remains incarcerated. CBP officers seized the Tacoma pickup truck.

Hector A. Mancha, CBP port director Hidalgo said, “I commend our frontline officers and K-9 units for their vigilance and for intercepting these two drug loads.” Mancha further said, “K-9 Laika continues to do great work in alerting to the presence of narcotic odors.”

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

CBP Wait Tables at Local Maine Restaurant for Charity ‘Tip a Cop’ Proceeds Benefit Special Olympics

December 16, 2009: Customs and Border Protection officers from Jackman and Coburn Gore, Maine assisted other law enforcement officers in raising $710 in three and a half hours waiting tables at the Calzolaio Pasta Company on December 11, for the Special Olympics. An additional $550 in donations was also collected by various online contributors.

Maine State Police (Troop C), six CBP officers, and other local law enforcement in the Franklin County hosted a “Tip a Cop” to benefit the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run. Law enforcement volunteers worked along side servers in their Special Olympics t-shirt, assisting with serving food and non-alcoholic drinks to Calzolaio Pasta Company customers.

Patrons not only received a great meal, they were educated on how Special Olympics enhance the lives of its more than 3,000 athletes that encompasses children and adults with intellectual disabilities. At the conclusion of the meal, patrons were given the choice of leaving a donation to Special Olympics in addition to their bill. All proceeds go directly to supporting the Special Olympics athletes in Maine, which provides opportunities to improve physical and motor skills, build self-esteem and life-long friendships.

“The ‘Tip a Cop’ is a great opportunity for law enforcement to come together not only to support a great cause, but also a local business who is a strong supporter of the Special Olympics, “ said CBP Port Director Timothy Lacasse, “This is a win, win situation for everyone involved.”

Agents Seize More than $1.3 Million in Marijuana


December 18, 2009: Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol agents recovered nearly 1,800 pounds of marijuana with a street value of nearly $1.4 million in two separate seizures at opposite ends of the Valley on Thursday. Agents assigned to the Brownsville Border Patrol Station seized 1,000 pounds of marijuana when an agent operating a remote video surveillance system observed several people head south toward Mexico after leaving several large bundles scattered throughout the brush.

Agents responded and recovered 14 bundles of marijuana. An immediate search of the area for the individuals was conducted, but none of the individuals was found. The marijuana has an estimated street value of $800,320.

In an unrelated case on the west end of the Valley, agents assigned to Rio Grande City were monitoring suspicious activity in the Cuevitas area. When the suspects departed that area heading north the agents moved in to intercept them. The suspects were alerted and fled leaving behind 10 bundles of marijuana with a combined weight of 748 pounds. The agents are credited in taking over $598,000 worth of marijuana off the streets after long hours of surveillance in the cold weather.

In total, Border Patrol agents recovered 24 bundles of marijuana. All together the narcotics weighed nearly 1,800 pounds and are valued at over $1.3 million.

The narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

To report suspicious activity, contact the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector’s toll free telephone number at 800-863-9382.

CBP Arrests Arson Suspect from Texas at Port of San Ysidro

Weekend Arrests Include 15 Other Fugitives

December 21, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa passenger ports of entry over the weekend arrested 16 wanted fugitives including a man wanted for arson by the Kennedale Police Department in Texas. Early Sunday morning at about 6 a.m., 34-year-old John Hummel entered the San Ysidro border station as a pedestrian. The CBP officer interviewing Hummel developed information that he was a missing person and considered armed and dangerous and escorted him to the secondary area for further investigation.

Further systems checks revealed that Hummel was the subject of an outstanding felony warrant for arson in a subsequent homicide investigation.

Hummel, a U.S. citizen and resident of Grand Prarie, Texas, was arrested and booked into the San Diego County jail.

From Friday at 6 a.m. through 6 a.m. Monday, CBP officers working at the San Ysidro border station and nearby Otay Mesa port also captured 15 other fugitives; they were wanted for crimes such as robbery, burglary, and dangerous drugs.

CBP Officers Seize Marijuana at 2 New Mexico Ports Monday


December 22, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Columbus and Santa Teresa international ports of entry seized marijuana Monday. Both drug loads were concealed in fuel tanks. CBP officers seized a total of 361 pounds of marijuana in the two busts.

The seizure at the Santa Teresa port of entry was made just before 11 a.m. when a 1998 Dodge Ram entered from Mexico. CBP officers working at the primary inspection booth noticed that the driver was nervous. CBP officers used several layers of enforcement to pinpoint the reason for the driver’s demeanor. A “Buster” density meter, X-ray equipment, and drug sniffing dog helped CBP officers pinpoint the drug load in the fuel tank. CBP officers removed a total of 148 pounds of marijuana from the fuel tank.

CBP officers arrested the driver of the truck, 33-year-old Jose Espinoza Torres of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents to face federal charges in relation to the failed drug smuggling attempt.

The seizure at the Columbus port of entry was made just before 3 p.m. when a 2009 Ford Excursion entered from Mexico. CBP officers working at the primary inspection booth selected the vehicle for a thorough exam. CBP officers X-rayed the vehicle and noted a dense area in the fuel tank consistent with previous drug loads. A CBP drug sniffing dog searched the vehicle and alerted to the fuel tank. CBP officers removed a total of 213 pounds of marijuana from the fuel tank.

CBP officers arrested the driver of the SUV, 22-year-old Vanessa Ann Marie Maestas of Phoenix, Ariz. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents to face federal charges in relation to the failed drug smuggling attempt.

CBP in Atlanta Arrests 2 Wanted Fugitives

December 22, 2009: United States Customs and Border Protection officers at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport arrested two wanted individuals who arrived in Atlanta over the weekend officials announced today.

The arrests were made while CBP officers were conducting routine inspections of arriving international passengers. The first individual, 30-year-old United States citizen Michael Colantuono, arrived from Italy and was wanted for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor out of Virginia.

The second individual, 34-year-old United States citizen Clint Roach, arrived from Nigeria and was wanted for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon out of Texas. After both individuals were identified and the warrants confirmed, they were arrested and turned over to the Atlanta Police Department for extradition.

“While our primary mission is anti-terrorism we are also committed to securing our homeland through the apprehension of wanted criminals entering our society,” said Stephen Kremer, CBP area port director in Atlanta. “These arrests demonstrate our officer’s vigilance and dedication to securing the homeland and safeguarding our citizens.”

Douglas CBP Officers Seize Marijuana Taped to Young Teen

December 21, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped a drug smuggling attempt when they apprehended a 13-year-old boy trying to smuggle marijuana taped to his body. Approximately a pound of marijuana is found taped to a teens inner thigh.

On December 18 at about 3 p.m., CBP officers were screening travelers when they observed a 13-year-old boy wearing loose clothing. The boy was identified as a resident of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. The CBP officers searched the boy and found that he had one package of marijuana taped to his inner thigh. The marijuana weighed about a pound and had an estimated street value of more than $1,700.

CBP officers seized the marijuana. CBP officers held the boy for questioning. The boy was released to the custody of his mother.

Busy Weekends Continue for Border Patrol, Agents Net 10 Tons of Marijuana



December 21, 2009: U.S. Border Patrol agents of the Rio Grande Valley Sector kept busy over the weekend making numerous marijuana seizures totaling nearly 10 tons.

Border Patrol agents continue to find large amounts of marijuana along the southern border.

Beginning Thursday, agents made multiple unrelated seizures that netted a total of 19,988 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of nearly $16 million. The seizures included close to six tons of marijuana that were found concealed within various produce shipments on Saturday and Sunday at the Falfurrias and Kingsville Border Patrol Checkpoints.

The previous weekend, during a 24-hour period beginning on December 11, agents nabbed more than 15,000 pounds of marijuana.

Over the past two weekends agents have seized a combined total of over 34,000 pounds of marijuana valued at nearly $30 million.

All narcotics, suspects and conveyances were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.

To report suspicious activity, contact the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector’s toll-free telephone number at 1-800-863-9382.

CBP Officers Seize $230,000 in Marijuana from Vehicle in Douglas

December 20, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped a drug-smuggling attempt when they seized 145 pounds of marijuana concealed in the rocker panels of a vehicle they were searching.

On December 19 at 5 a.m., CBP officers were screening travelers when they became suspicious of a 1994 Chrysler Caravan being driven by a 23-year-old man who was identified as a resident of Cananea, Sonora, Mexico. Utilizing high-tech equipment, the CBP officers searched the man’s vehicle and discovered that the rocker panels were loaded with packages of marijuana. The total weight of marijuana was 145 pounds with an estimated street value of $230,000.

CBP officers seized the vehicle and the marijuana. The man was turned over to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation and prosecution.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Border Patrol Seizes Nearly 400 Pounds of Marijuana Stashed in Gas Tank



On Dec 15, 2009, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents working the Highway 86 checkpoint seized nearly 400 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of more than $300,000. At approximately 5:30 a.m., a white colored pick-up truck approached the primary inspection area at the Highway 86 Border Patrol checkpoint. The pick-up was referred to the secondary inspection.

While in secondary, a Border Patrol canine team conducted a cursory inspection of the vehicle. The canine team alerted to the bed area of the pick-up. A physical search of the bed area of the pick-up revealed 64 bundles of marijuana. All 64 bundles were concealed inside an auxiliary gas tank located in the bed of the pick-up.

The driver of the pick-up, a legal permanent resident, was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the vehicle and marijuana.


According to El Centro Sector, Chief Patrol Agent Jeffrey Calhoon, “This is a testament of Border Patrol’s effectiveness,” he said. “It shows how our checkpoints are a valuable tool when it comes to establishing a second line of defense for stemming the flow of dangerous narcotics into our country.”

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Border Patrol Agents Arrest Suspected Smugglers, Seize Drugs

December 16, 2009: U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested eight suspected drug smugglers and seized six backpacks loaded with marijuana near Sentinel, Ariz. early Tuesday morning.

At about 3 a.m., a Border Patrol agent detected a group of eight backpackers crossing the desert about five miles south of Interstate 8 near the Sentinel Rest Area.

The Border Patrol agent maintained a constant visual of the group while agents in the area moved into place to apprehend the suspected smugglers. As agents closed in, the group dropped their backpacks and ran north to avoid apprehension.

Through a coordinated effort, agents moved in on the group and apprehended all eight suspected smugglers. After a brief search of the area, agents recovered the six makeshift burlap-style backpacks containing eight bundles of marijuana.

The eight suspected smugglers and backpacks of marijuana were transported to the Wellton Border Patrol Station for processing. The backpacks contained 260 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $208,000. The smugglers will be processed for removal and the marijuana will be destroyed.

St. Mary Border Patrol, Montana Air and Marine Agents Assist Blackfeet Tribe

n Wednesday, U.S. Border Patrol agents from the St. Mary Border Patrol Station and Customs and Border Protection Air Interdiction agents from the Montana Air Branch teamed up with officers from the Blackfeet Department of Homeland Security to conduct welfare checks on snow-bound ranchers on the Blackfeet Reservation.

The Border Patrol’s mission of border security includes the goal of maintaining partnerships with other agencies to make border communities safer. St. Mary Station Patrol Agent in Charge Erik Dubbe said, “Working with our law enforcement partners to help the communities is a satisfying part of the job. We have developed a close working relationship with the Blackfeet Tribe.”

Heavy snow and extremely cold temperatures reaching down to about 35 degrees below zero had hit the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, and Robert DesRosier, director of the Blackfeet Department of Homeland Security, was concerned about the welfare of several ranchers. DesRosier and Deputy Keith LameBear requested assistance from the Border Patrol in reaching the snow-bound residents on the Blackfeet Reservation. PAIC Dubbe assigned two agents to assist, and also requested assistance from the CBP Montana Air Branch, who had a Blackhawk helicopter in the area.

Air Interdiction agents (pilots) flew the group to several isolated ranches on the reservation, some more than seven miles off the main road, to make sure the residents were safe and had food. Because of the heavy snow, all the roads in the rural areas were impassable by automobiles. All the residents they checked were safe, but were running out of food. The agents and officers returned to their stations without incident, and tribal officials returned to the ranches the next day with off-road vehicles to deliver food and supplies.

Border Patrol Seizes More than 22 Pounds of Cocaine in Vehicle’s Dash

December 15, 2009: On December 14, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents working the Interstate 8 checkpoint seized approximately 22.7 pounds of cocaine with an estimated value of $746,400.

At approximately 12 p.m., a silver colored vehicle entered the Interstate 8 checkpoint for inspection. The vehicle was referred for a secondary inspection. While in secondary, a Border Patrol canine team conducted a cursory inspection and alerted, leading the agents to the dash board area of the vehicle.

Agents conducted a physical search of the dashboard area and uncovered several packages concealed in the dashboard. A total of nine packages containing cocaine were removed from the vehicle’s dashboard.

The driver and passenger, both legal permanent residents, were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the vehicle and cocaine.

This fiscal year to date, the El Centro Sector Border Patrol has seized more the 530 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of more than $17 million. These seizures at the Interstate 8 checkpoint are at record place having already surpassing fiscal year 2009’s total cocaine seizures of 174 pounds.

CBP Southbound Operations in Douglas Recovers $70,000 Found in Tires

December 15, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped an illegal exportation of $70,000 while screening traffic going into Mexico.

On December 13 at about 7 p.m., CBP officers were screening traffic going into Mexico as part of a southbound operation. The officers selected a 2008 Chevrolet Cheyenne being driven by a 28-year-old man from Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico.

Utilizing high-tech equipment, CBP officers discovered that the man was attempting to smuggle $70,000 out of United States by concealing the money in the spare tire of the vehicle he was driving.

CBP officers seized the vehicle and the illegal currency. The man was turned over to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Crime Mapping

On January 28, 2010, Conversations with American Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature a discussion with Michael R. King on Crime Mapping.

Program Date: January 28, 2010
Program Time: 1700 Hours Pacific
Topic: Crime Mapping
Listen Live:
www.americanheroesradio.com/crime_mapping.html

About the Guest
Michael R. King is a National Law Enforcement Account Manager for ESRI, the Environmental Systems Research Institute, a worldwide leader of GIS software. He was a Product Planning Manager for Motorola, Inc. from 2004-2006. In 2004, Michael R. King retired from full-time Law Enforcement and has over 28 years of service. He began his law enforcement career in 1979. After 8 years of experience with the Ogden Utah Police Department, Michael R. King became the Chief of Staff for Weber County Attorney, Reed M. Richards. He served in that capacity and as lead investigator for 8 years.

In 1993,
Michael R. King became an investigator with the Utah Attorney General’s Office where he investigated sexual offenses, cult activity and white-collar crimes. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and eventually promoted to Chief of Staff under Attorney General Jan Graham. During this time, King was trained as a criminal profiler through the FBI. He served as the co-chair of the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program National Board. Michael R. King has consulted on hundreds of complex criminal cases around the world.

Michael R. King has a Master of Criminal Justice Degree and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice. He is an adjunct faculty member for the school of Criminal Justice at Salt Lake Community College and Weber State University. He is a member of the Harvard Medical School Program in Psychiatry and the Law (2003-present) and is a Visiting Scholar for the School of Nursing at Boston College (2005-present).

Mike has authored, in part or whole, a number of books, including: Analyzing Criminal Behavior; Cold Case Methodology; and, Predators: Who They are and How to Stop Them.

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is
Police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. American Heroes Radio brings you to the watering hole, where it is Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in
Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in Law Enforcement, public policy, Public Safety Technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in Law Enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole:
Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
editor@police-writers.com
909.599.7530

Border Patrol Agents Rescue Missing Boy in Arizona

Monday, December 14, 2009: U.S. Border Patrol agents working near the Naco Station located an 11-year-old boy Sunday morning who had been reported missing hours earlier by his mother.

“Border Patrol agents are first responders as well as law enforcement officers,” said Naco Station Patrol Agent in Charge Humberto De La Cruz. “We are happy that both are safe and we were able to avert this potential tragedy and reunite the woman with her son.”

Border Patrol agents became aware of the situation when the woman told agents that she was separated from her son while trying to avoid apprehension by the Border Patrol. She also claimed that her son was suffering from dehydration and had not eaten in three days.

Border Patrol agents immediately responded, activating the Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) team, bringing in additional agents from the Willcox Border Patrol Station, and deploying a total of three mobile surveillance scopes. The boy was found hiding in brush with a group of 11 illegal aliens. The boy appeared to be in good health and was reunited with his mother at the Naco Station.

In fiscal 2009, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents rescued almost 600 illegal aliens from the Sonora Desert. Border Patrol agents never hesitate to help individuals lost or in need of medical assistance, regardless of nationality

Monday, December 14, 2009

Border Patrol Agents Seize Nearly 1,000 Pounds of Marijuana

December 11, 2009: U.S. Border Patrol agents in Lordsburg seized nearly 1,000 pounds of marijuana Thursday in three separate events. Lordsburg Horse Patrol agents conducting line watch operations Thursday morning discovered footprints in a remote location just south of Animas, N.M. The agents followed the footprints north and were able to quickly close the gap between themselves and the narcotic smugglers. The Horse Patrol, along with other agents, apprehended six undocumented aliens that had entered the country illegally and were attempting to conceal themselves in the heavy brush. The individuals were carrying five bundles of marijuana weighing 228 pounds with an estimated street value of $182,400.00.

Earlier in the day, the Lordsburg station seized a total of 757 pounds of marijuana resulting from two separate events. The bundles of marijuana were backpacked into the United States from Mexico by individuals that entered the United States illegally. Agents used traditional methods, such as tracking, to follow the foot sign left behind by the smugglers in the rugged southern New Mexico terrain.

The total estimated street value of the marijuana seized by the Lordsburg Station on Thursday was $787,800.

These latest seizures demonstrate the dedication and effectiveness of Border Patrol agents and their commitment to keeping drugs and criminal activity out of our communities in the ongoing effort to secure our nation’s borders.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Border Patrol Arrests Convicted Sex Offender

December 10, 2009: U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro, Calif. sector, arrested a convicted sex offender Wednesday east of Calexico, Calif.

Jeffrey A. Calhoon, chief patrol agent of the El Centro sector, stated “Reducing crime in border communities is one facet of the Border Patrol’s National Strategy. This is a perfect example of the Border Patrol taking one more dangerous criminal off the streets who is a threat to our border communities.”

Border Patrol agents from the Calexico Station arrested the male Mexican national after he made an illegal entry into the United States. Record checks revealed the subject has a conviction for Rape by Force and Lewd Acts with a Child under fourteen years of age. The offender was sentenced to a five year prison term for the offense. The subject is subject to prosecution for re-entry after deportation.

Felon in Possession of Handgun Arrested at Northwest Border

December 10, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers Monday took into custody Michael Pinkney, 28, of Ridgecrest, California for allegedly being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun when he attempted to enter the United States at the Peace Arch border crossing.

Pinkney was characterized as incoherent and rambling, resulting in a heightened level of suspicion that caused officers to isolate him from the rest of the traveling public. During a search of the vehicle officers discovered a loaded pistol magazine in the center console and a pistol in Pinkney’s duffel bag. Also discovered was a hockey mask and dark cap.

“All of Washington state is acutely aware of the serious threat unrepentant criminals can present to our society and the law enforcement community,” said Area Port Director Greg Alvarez. “We are thankful that our officers have been able to perform this arrest safely and without harm to themselves or innocent members of the traveling public.”

Pinkney was turned over to the Blaine Police Department where further investigation revealed that the vehicle Pinkney was driving, although not yet listed as stolen, was taken without the owner’s consent.

CBP, Arizona Police Join Forces to Recover Stolen Goods

December 11, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and the Yuma, Ariz. Police Department joined in enforcement efforts to recover four refrigerated truck units and a backhoe.

CBP Officers assigned to the cargo facility were conducting commercial truck inspections Wednesday along with a Yuma Police Detective assigned to a regional auto theft team. During the coordinated inspections of inbound and outbound trucks the officers found four stolen trucks and a backhoe.

“CBP is very receptive to any law enforcement partnerships because it proves to be a success against those breaking the law,” said William K. Brooks. “We will continue to coordinate different strategies with our local law enforcement counterparts.”

The stolen goods were seized and the drivers were released pending further investigation by the Yuma Police Department.

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.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Solving Missing Persons Cases

by Beth Pearsall with Danielle Weiss

This article highlights NIJ's National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), the first national repository of its kind. NamUs, which provides a "needed bridge" between law enforcement agencies, medical examiners, coroners and the public, already houses more than 2,000 missing persons and 5,000 unidentified decedent cases that could potentially be solved with the help of this new communication tool.

Read On
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/pubs-sum/228382.htm

Learning From 9/11: Organizational Change in the New York City and Arlington County, Va., Police Departments

When a terrorist attack or other mass casualty incident occurs, the primary responsibility for responding to the attack falls to local law enforcement. Little is available in the way of best practices for responding to large-scale critical incidents. A study of the two law enforcement agencies that dealt most directly with the 9/11 terrorist attacks — the New York City Police Department and the Arlington County, Va., Police Department — looked at what practices the agencies had in place that enabled them to respond to the attacks; what special challenges they faced in responding to the attacks; and what changes in organization, training, and policies and procedures they implemented in the aftermath of the attacks to improve their ability to prevent, anticipate and coordinate their response to terrorist and other critical incidents. This Research for Practice summarizes the study findings and presents the implications of the agencies’ experience for! law enforcement.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT
http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/227346.pdf

Unconventional Delivery of Deadly Force in a Correctional Facility

By Tracy E. Barnhart & Gary T. Klugiewicz

We wanted to write an article on a topic that you might have thought that you never would read about in print. This article is going to discuss how and when to use deadly force in a correctional facility and most importantly how to defend your actions. Since most corrections officers are not trained or equipped with weapons designed to deliver deadly force the techniques we are going to discuss will need to be unconventional. The following information is the kind of stuff we talk about before roll call when we hear about an assault on an officer from the previous shift. This type of violent assault against a corrections officer could happen anywhere. It could even happen in your facility. These life threatening assaults could happen to a friend or someone who you went to the academy with or it could happen to you. Hopefully it’s doesn’t end up like the incident referenced below with an officer being killed.

READ ON
http://www.police-writers.com/articles/unconvential_delivery_deadly_force.html

My Supervisor is an Idiot

There are plenty of books and articles on being a good leader and being a good follower. Indeed, excellent followership starts with leadership. Moreover, there are a lot of good books because there a lot of people who need leadership training and mentoring. But, what do you do when your supervisor is an idiot? Here are ten tips:

www.pokerleadership.com/supervisor_idiot.html

CBP Partners with Mexican Authorities in Douglas

Thursday, December 10, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers put on a clinic for local Mexican authorities from Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico to assist them in the application of newly acquired high-tech tools.

Mexican authorities have stepped up their efforts in their fight against terrorism and organized crime. They are receiving high-tech tools that will assist them in their efforts to detect contraband being imported or exported out of their country. To assist them in their efforts, CBP Douglas port of entry held a clinic to assist them in their search techniques and application of their high-tech tools.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection foments partnerships with many law enforcement agencies,” said Jose Lopez, supervisor for passenger processing and liaison with local Mexican law enforcement authorities, “these partnerships are an integral part in securing our nation’s borders. The criminal element can no longer commit a crime and casually leave the country to escape the consequences. Protecting the border is now an international exerted effort and is made up of a complex network of many national and international agencies. Customs and Border Protection remains firm in it’s commitment to securing our notion’s borders.”

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

Academy to Retirement: A Journey Through the Policing Lifecycle

A part of NIJ's "Research in the Real World" Series

Friday, December 11, 2009
10:00 am–11:30 am (Eastern Time)
Office of Justice Programs, 3rd Floor Ballroom
810 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531

Have you wondered how we can do a better job of recruiting and training law enforcement officers and what makes officers choose to leave or stay through retirement? If so, please join us to learn about an NIJ-funded project on the policing lifecycle.

Hear what Dennis Rosenbaum and his team are doing to help improve officer health, productivity, and attitudes; increase effectiveness of police training programs and supervisory methods; improve leadership development; and establish standardized and widely accepted definitions and benchmarks for good policing.

Whether you are a policymaker, decision-maker or an officer in the field, if you are interested in policing, this event is for you.

The seminar is free, but you must RSVP to gain access to the OJP building. Allow 20 minutes to go through security.

Know someone who might want to attend? For more information about this event or to RSVP, please contact Yolanda Curtis at 202-305-2554 or Yolanda.Curtis@usdoj.gov.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Respirator Trusted-Source Information Page

This information may be regarded as a trusted source to verify which respirators are approved by NIOSH, how to get them and how to use them. This web page is currently under development, and therefore not all areas are functional at this time. We hope that you visit us frequently to use the new capabilities as they become available. The web page will include content to address each of 3 sections of information as follows:

Section 1: NIOSH-Approved Respirators: What are they, How can they be identified, Where can I get them?

Section 2: Use of NIOSH Respirators: Information on how to implement the use of respirators in the Workplace and use them appropriately.

Section 3: Ancillary Respirator Information: Commonly asked Questions and Answers (Fact Sheets), Respirator Myths, Science of Respirator Function and Performance, Respiratory Protective Devices Not Approved by NIOSH.

Visit the website
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/disp_part/RespSource.html

CBP Officers Confiscate Marijuana, Process Immigration Violators, Recover Undeclared Currency at Lukeville Port

Tuesday, December 08, 2009: U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Lukeville port of entry wrapped up a busy weekend by preventing 342 pounds of marijuana from entering the United States on three separate events and a total of six arrests.

The first seizure occurred on Sunday, December 6, at 11 a.m., when CBP officers conducting routine inspections of travelers and vehicles entering the United States selected a 1995 Ford Explorer and driver for exam. When examined, CBP officers utilized high tech x-ray equipment and detected several anomalies within the gas tank. The officers saw a metal box inside the gas tank. CBP officers utilized a narcotic detection dog who alerted to the presence of narcotics in the gas tank. The gas tank was removed and three metal boxes were discovered inside the tank. CBP officers removed the three boxes and opened them. Inside each box was one package of marijuana. The approximate weight of the narcotic was 127 pounds.

Later the same day, at approximately 3:30 p.m., CBP officers discovered 93 bundles of marijuana floating inside the gas tank of a 2004 Jeep Cherokee. CBP officers removed the marijuana from the gas tank. All occupants were citizens of Mexico or the United States and ranged in age from 20 to 54 years old.

In both cases the narcotics and vehicles was seized and subjects were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.

Earlier in the day U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers were screening traffic leaving the United States. Officers selected a 2009 Ford Expedition being driving by a 32-year-old Mexican citizen and three occupants. Two of the occupants were unable to produce documentation and it was determined they were illegally in the United States. Both were taken into custody and processed as immigration violators. Also discovered was a total of $16,650 in undeclared currency.

Steamroller Concealing Marijuana Contributes to 2 Tons Seized at Laredo Cargo Facility

December 08, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the World Trade Bridge commercial cargo lot at the Laredo, Texas Laredo port of entry seized more than two tons of marijuana last week. The drugs valued in excess of $4.4 million in the two separate cases were concealed inside a steamroller and a shipment of air and oil filters.

The latest and largest seizure occurred on Friday, December 4. It is the second large drug load discovered in a commercial truck in less than two weeks at the Laredo port. On November 24, CBP officers at this same commercial cargo lot seized more than 1,765 pounds of marijuana.

The Friday seizure was made just after 7 p.m. when a 1994 Kenworth tractor hauling a 2002 Wabash trailer entered the compound from Mexico. After interviewing the driver, Jesus Mendoza Martinez, a 30-year-old Mexican citizen from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico a CBP officer referred the tractor-trailer rig to the cargo x-ray unit for closer examination. A CBP officer determined that there were anomalies within the manifested cargo inside the trailer.

CBP officers conducted a physical and closer visual inspection of the shipment that revealed bundles co-mingled among the manifested pallets of air and oil filters. A total of 73 bundles were removed from the trailer. The bundles contained 2,677 pounds of marijuana, which has a street value of more than $2.7 million. The tractor and trailer were also seized by CBP officers.
click for hi-res

Packages of marijuana totaling 1,765 pounds are discovered in a steamroller. Just days before, CBP officers at the same commercial bridge had stopped another significant load of marijuana. CBP officers referred the 1997 International tractor pulling a 2003 Lufkin flatbed trailer with a vibration road roller machine for a non-intrusive imagining system scan that resulted in anomalies being detected within the wheels of the heavy-duty roller. CBP narcotics detector dog “Donna” also alerted to the odor of narcotics emanating from the wheels of the roller. CBP officers conducted an intensive examination and discovered a total of 195 bundles carrying 1,765 pounds of marijuana within the metal wheels of the road roller. The marijuana has an estimated street value of $1.7 million.

In both of these cases, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents investigated the seizures that resulted in the arrests of two men on federal drug violations.

“Laredo’s CBP officers are dedicated to balancing the facilitation of trade with our priority border security mission. Our officers used a combination of their experience and technological tools to ferret out well-hidden contraband, as was the case with the heavy duty road roller,” said Gene Garza, CBP port director, Laredo. “These two cases resulting in over two tons of narcotics demonstrate the daily enforcement efforts of our officers. They successfully accomplish this mission, while not impeding the flow of commerce that is so strongly linked to the economy of Laredo.”

CBP Officers Arrest Body Carrier at Douglas Port

December 09, 2009: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped a drug smuggling attempt when they apprehended a 21-year-old man trying to smuggle marijuana taped to his body. On December 8 at about 8:30 p.m. CBP officers were screening travelers when they observed a 21-year-old man walking very oddly. The man was identified as a U.S citizen and resident of Douglas. The CBP officers searched the man and found that he had packages of marijuana weighting about two pounds taped to his torso. The marijuana had an estimated street value of more than $3,500.

CBP officers seized the marijuana. The man was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for questioning.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Santa Teresa CBP Officers Make Largest Cocaine Seizure in 5 Years

December 07, 2009: El Paso, Texas

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at El Paso area ports of entry made one cocaine and several marijuana seizures during the last week. CBP officers confiscated a total of 53 pounds of cocaine and 1,156 pounds of marijuana.

“This is the largest cocaine seizure CBP officers at the Santa Teresa port of entry have made in more than five years,” said Ana Hinojosa, U.S. Customs and Border Protection director of Field Operations in El Paso. “Despite exceptionally heavy traffic on Saturday, CBP officers remained focused on their mission and were able to stop a sizeable drug load from entering the U.S.”

CBP officers at the Santa Teresa port of entry confiscated 53.24 pounds of cocaine on Saturday. The seizure was made after a 2000 Honda Odyssey entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth noticed inconsistencies in statements given by the driver and referred the vehicle to secondary for further examination. CBP drug sniffing dog “Popeye” searched the vehicle and alerted to the glove compartment area.

The vehicle was taken to a separate inspection area where an extensive inspection of the vehicle was conducted. CBP officers discovered 23 cocaine-filled packages concealed in a non-factory compartment in the front area of the dashboard in the firewall. The contents of the bundles tested positive for cocaine.

CBP officers at the port arrested the driver, 36-year-old Ruby Rodriguez, of Deming, N.M. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents to face federal charges including importation of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

In addition to the drug seizures, CBP officers recorded 56 immigration violations at area ports this week including 43 intended immigrants and 13 imposters. Intended immigrants will use a legally issued border-crossing card (laser visa) to live or work in the U.S., which is not authorized. They also lose their documents and are generally returned to Mexico. 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 working at area ports made a total of 22 fugitive apprehensions and located a missing juvenile during the period.

In addition to the drug busts, CBP officers working at ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas and New Mexico made three seizures of agricultural items. Violators paid $775 in penalties in association with the violations. Prohibited food products seized included tangerines, grapefruits, pomegranates and guavas.

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.

McAllen Horse Patrol Agents Seize Drugs Concealed in Brush

December 07, 2009: McAllen, Texas — U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback discovered 191 pounds of marijuana Friday evening with an estimated street value of $152,800.

Agents assigned to the McAllen station were on horse patrol near the Hidalgo, Texas port of entry when they discovered the marijuana concealed in a brushy area along the Rio Grande River. The contraband was most likely hidden in the brush for transport at a later time.

The Border Patrol uses horses to navigate areas along the Rio Grande River that vehicles cannot access. Agents on horses can also navigate rugged terrain rapidly and quietly. Horse Patrol remains one of the most effective means of drug and illegal immigrant interdiction to this day and its roots bridge the history of the Border Patrol since the agency’s creation in 1924.

ISPLA Represents Industry at FTC Roundtable in Washington, D.C.

December 7, 2009: Bruce Hulme, Director of Government Affairs for Investigative and Security Professionals for Legislative Action (ISPLA) has been invited to take part in the Federal Trade Commission’s public roundtable discussions, a series of day long discussions on Evolving Consumer Privacy Issues. The first roundtable discussion in this series was on December 7th with the focus on exploring the privacy challenges posed by the vast array of 21st century technology and business practices that collect and use consumer data, including those of professional investigators. Mr. Hulme provided the profession’s position regarding the legitimate need for continued access to information by professional investigators.

The roundtable discussions will consider the risks and benefits of information collection and use in online and offline contexts, consumer expectations surrounding various information management practices, and the adequacy of existing legal and self-regulatory controls to address privacy interests. Roundtable participants will include stakeholders representing a wide range of views and experiences. The participation of the investigation industry is critical to counter-balance the legitimate concerns of privacy advocates and other industry forces.

ISPLA is concerned with the prospect of additional regulations and laws that limit the legitimate use of consumer information. Its participation, at the behest of the FTC, reflects on the association’s reputation among regulators and legislators as a significant and reasoned voice for the industry.

The second privacy roundtable discussion will take place on January 28, 2010. The event, hosted by the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, will take place at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law Booth Auditorium. ISPLA will be participating.

The mission of ISPLA is to monitor and identify critical legislative and regulatory issues in order to provide a forum for debate and discussion within the investigative and security professions and to serve as an advocate for these professions. To find out more about ISPLA and how you can support your profession go to www.ispla.org.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Dulles CBP Arrests Pittsburgh Rape Suspect

December 07, 2009: Sterling, VA – Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington-Dulles International Airport arrested Branden Frazier on Friday night on Pittsburgh Police Department charges of strong arm rape.

Frazier, 18, of Pittsburgh, arrived to Dulles from Frankfurt, Germany at about 7:40 p.m. Friday. He was referred to a secondary inspection where CBP officers confirmed Frazier’s identity and arrested him.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police confirmed the warrant and extradition request with the Pittsburgh Police Department and took Frazier into custody.

“CBP officers take great pride in bringing fugitives to justice, particularly one charged with a crime as heinous as this charge alleges,” said Christopher Hess, CBP port director for the Port of Washington. “CBP’s capability to detect and arrest wanted fugitives is one of the unique consequences of CBP’s mission of protecting the nation at our ports of entry. We know precisely who is attempting entry to the U.S. and can vett them prior to their arrival.”

Airlines are required to submit passenger manifests to CBP prior to their international flights departing from foreign soil. CBP then vetts those passengers against several law enforcement databases to identify those who may pose a threat to the U.S., or who have outstanding arrest warrants, or who have previous immigration, customs or agriculture violations.

CBP officers and agriculture specialists processed more than three million passengers at Dulles during fiscal year 2009.

Santa Teresa CBP Officer Make Largest Cocaine Seizure in 5 Years

December 07, 2009: El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at El Paso area ports of entry made one cocaine and several marijuana seizures during the last week. CBP officers confiscated a total of 53 pounds of cocaine and 1,156 pounds of marijuana.

“This is the largest cocaine seizure CBP officers at the Santa Teresa port of entry have made in more than five years,” said Ana Hinojosa, U.S. Customs and Border Protection director of Field Operations in El Paso. “Despite exceptionally heavy traffic on Saturday, CBP officers remained focused on their mission and were able to stop a sizeable drug load from entering the U.S.”

CBP officers at the Santa Teresa port of entry confiscated 53.24 pounds of cocaine on Saturday. The seizure was made after a 2000 Honda Odyssey entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth noticed inconsistencies in statements given by the driver and referred the vehicle to secondary for further examination. CBP drug sniffing dog “Popeye” searched the vehicle and alerted to the glove compartment area.

The vehicle was taken to a separate inspection area where an extensive inspection of the vehicle was conducted. CBP officers discovered 23 cocaine-filled packages concealed in a non-factory compartment in the front area of the dashboard in the firewall. The contents of the bundles tested positive for cocaine.

CBP officers at the port arrested the driver, 36-year-old Ruby Rodriguez, of Deming, N.M. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents to face federal charges including importation of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.


In addition to the drug seizures, CBP officers recorded 56 immigration violations at area ports this week including 43 intended immigrants and 13 imposters. Intended immigrants will use a legally issued border-crossing card (laser visa) to live or work in the U.S., which is not authorized. They also lose their documents and are generally returned to Mexico. 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 working at area ports made a total of 22 fugitive apprehensions and located a missing juvenile during the period.

In addition to the drug busts, CBP officers working at ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas and New Mexico made three seizures of agricultural items. Violators paid $775 in penalties in association with the violations. Prohibited food products seized included tangerines, grapefruits, pomegranates and guavas.

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.

Border Patrol Seizes $868,000 Worth of Marijuana from Makeshift Backbacks

December 07, 2009: Wellton, Ariz. – U.S. Border Patrol agents seized more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana while tracking three different groups of suspected drug smugglers in a desolate area of southwest Arizona.

Border Patrol agents assigned to Camp Grip detected the illegal entry of six individuals about 30 miles west of the Lukeville, Ariz. port of entry at about noon on Thursday. With help from CBP Air Interdiction agents, Border Patrol agents on the ground located the group of six suspected drug smugglers along with six makeshift backpacks full of marijuana. The backpacks contained 13 bundles of marijuana and weigh approximately 293 pounds.

On Friday afternoon, CBP Air Interdiction agents helped Camp Grip agents locate another group of suspected drug smugglers near the same area. Agents arrested four more suspected smugglers and seized nine large bundles of marijuana weighing approximately 47 pounds each.

On Saturday morning, Camp Grip agents detected the illegal entry of another 10 individuals that crossed the border near the same area. As agents closed in on the group, the suspected drug smugglers dropped eight backpacks and ran back into Mexico to avoid apprehension. The backpacks contained several bundles of marijuana weighing a total of 370 pounds.

Since Thursday, Camp Grip agents have arrested 10 suspected drug smugglers and seized 1,085 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated street value of $868,000. The suspected smugglers will be charged with drug smuggling and illegal entry.

Camp Grip is Yuma Sector’s tactically deployed forward operating base that is designed to gain operational control of the seam between the Yuma and Tucson Sectors. The success of Camp Grip demonstrates the Border Patrol’s ability to mobilize its enforcement stance along the southwest border where needed. These bases act as a deterrent and an additional detection platform, ensuring that smuggling organizations understand that if they operate in these areas, they will be pursued and apprehended.

CBP Officer in Arizona Seize $133,412 in Undeclared Currency

December 04, 2009: Nogales, Ariz. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Dennis DeConcini port of entry yesterday discover $133,412 hidden inside a Volkswagen Beetle. A 22-year-old man from Sonora, Mexico is arrested.
click for hi-res

Packages of undeclared currency are found in a Volkswagen Beetle. On Thursday afternoon, CBP officers conducting routine inspections of vehicles leaving the United States selected a 2001 Volkswagen Beetle for exam. The vehicle was occupied by a 22-year-old man from Sonora, Mexico.

While conducting their inspection, CBP officers discovered several packages of U.S. currency hidden in the rear quarter panel of the vehicle. Officers removed numerous packages totaling $133,412.

The money was seized. The driver of the vehicle was arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.

Resolve to be Ready in 2010

As the New Year approaches, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Campaign is once again reminding people to Resolve to be Ready in 2010. While nearly 50 percent of Americans make New Year's Eve resolutions, very few manage to keep them. The Ready Campaign would like to make an emergency preparedness resolution easy to keep by providing the tools and resources needed to take the three important steps: get a kit, make a plan and be informed about the different types of emergencies that can happen in your area and their appropriate responses. We hope you will join the Ready Campaign this Holiday Season in promoting Resolve to be Ready.

On this page you will find a toolkit to help your organization develop internal and external messages to encourage your members, employees, constituents, customers and community to make a New Year's resolution to prepare for emergencies. You will also find Web banners for your organization's Web site, a sample E-mail and a Newsletter you can share with your key constituents.

More Information
http://www.ready.gov/america/about/resolve2010.html

Forensic Science in Homicide Investigations

On December 17, 2009, Conversations with American Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature a discussion with Vernon J. Geberth, NYPD (ret.) on Forensic Science in Homicide Investigations.

Program Date: December 17, 2009
Program Time: 1700 hours, Pacific
Topic:
Forensic Science in Homicide Investigations
Listen Live: www.americanheroesradio.com/forensic_science_homicide_investigations.html

About the Guest
Vernon Geberth is a retired lieutenant-commander of the New York Police Department. As the commanding officer of the Bronx Homicide Task Force, his investigators handled more than four hundred murder investigations every year. Vernon Geberth is recipient of over sixty awards for bravery and exceptional work during twenty-three years of service. He has personally investigated, supervised, assessed, researched and consulted on over eight thousand homicides.

Vernon Geberth has master's degrees in both psychology and professional studies, is a graduate of the FBI's National Academy. Over the past twenty-five years, he has taught over 50,000 police officers his comprehensive course in Practical Homicide Investigation.

Geberth’s book, Practical Homicide Investigation has been referred to as the "Bible of Homicide." His subsequent works, “The Practical
Homicide Investigation Checklist and Field Guide” and “Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigation: Practical and Clinical Perspectives,” demonstrate his professional ability and subject matter expert command over homicide investigations. In addition to his own works Geberth has been an editor in over forty other textbooks. He has devoted his life to the study of murder and was the first law enforcement professional to devise standard guidelines and protocols for proficient death inquiries. Currently he is president of P.H.I. Investigative Consultants, Inc., a New York-based corporation that provides state-of-the-art instruction and consultation regarding homicide investigations to police officers.

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is
Police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. American Heroes Radio brings you to the watering hole, where it is Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in
Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in Law Enforcement, public policy, Public Safety Technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in Law Enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole:
www.americanheroesradio.com/forensic_science_homicide_investigations.html

Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
editor@police-writers.com
909.599.7530