U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agents play an important role in protecting the nation against threats to communities across the country. In FY 2011, CBP officers arrested and seized 8,195 people wanted for crimes, including gang activities, murder, drugs, rape, assault, and robbery and nearly five million pounds of narcotics, a 20 percent increase from FY 2010. CBP officers also denied entry to more than 215,600 people attempting to enter the U.S. through an air, land or sea port of entry who were found inadmissible for immigration, customs, health, criminal or national security reasons. Below find six of their top 2011 apprehensions and seizures of gangs and drugs.
CBP apprehends Latin King gang member with criminal history as he was attempting to leave the U.S. undetected at the Douglas, Ariz., port of entry. On January 19, 2011, at about 5:00 p.m., CBP officers noticed a suspicious man who was walking south toward Mexico in the pedestrian lane and stopped him for an interview. The man was identified as a 25-year-old Mexican national and who had been present in the U.S. illegally. Further investigation revealed that the man was a gang member with ties to a dangerous gang known as the Latin Kings, and had an extensive criminal record that included arrests for transporting and selling dangerous drugs, had been deported from the country, and had even served time for previously re-entering the country illegally.
April 12, 2011, Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector, with the help of CBP’s Office of Air and Marine, seized $8.5 million in drugs within 48 hours.
June 5, 2011, Border Patrol agents in Tucson arrested 10 dangerous criminals illegally entering the U.S. in one weekend on the Arizona border. The subjects’ criminal backgrounds ranged from sexual assault to gang-related activity. Records checks, using the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, revealed that eight of the criminals belonged to dangerous street gangs such as Mara Salvatrucha, Sureños and 18th Street.
September 29, 2011, CBP officers at an air cargo consignment facility at Los Angeles International Airport seized seized 40 drums, 2,200 pounds of methylamine hydrochloride and two barrels, 880 pounds of ethyl phenyl acetate, both known chemicals that are used as precursors to methamphetamine and ecstasy.arriving from China with a destination in Illinois.
Over one weekend of October 1, 2011, U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector seized nearly 2.5 tons of marijuana and 80 ammunition magazines, several which were fully loaded. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force executed a search warrant on a ranch. The contraband was found in several underground containers that investigators uncovered on the property. Additionally, agents found part of the marijuana hidden within the frame of a tractor-trailer.
On December 3, 2011, CBP maritime patrol vessel intercepted a boat with 10 bales of cocaine, totaling 661 pounds, about 50 miles north of the coast of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The drugs’ value was estimated at $6.3 million. Upon obtaining visual contact with the suspect vessel, persons on board started throwing large bales overboard, forcing one marine unit to stop pursuit to recover eight bales from the water. Two bales were recovered onboard the vessel. Five subjects, who claimed to be citizens of the Dominican Republic, were arrested.