Canine Detects Meth Hidden in Vehicle Headrest

YUMA, Ariz. – A Yuma Sector canine alerted Border Patrol agents to a suspicious-smelling vehicle in which one pound of methamphetamine was found hidden in a seat headrest.

2021-05-13 fentanyl sniffed out by K9 Brit

At approximately 10:30 a.m. on May 28, Blythe Border Patrol agents encountered a Nissan Pathfinder as it traveled through the California immigration checkpoint on Highway 78. Agents referred the vehicle to the checkpoint’s secondary inspection area after a canine “alerted” agents something was problematic with the vehicle.

During a search of the vehicle, agents discovered that one of the seat’s headrests had a plastic bag hidden inside that contained one pound of methamphetamine, worth approximately $1,800-$5,000.

Record checks conducted on the Nissan’s three occupants, all U.S. citizens from Blythe, Calif., revealed the driver, a 34-year-old male, had an outstanding warrant in El Centro, California, for a previous drug smuggling attempt five months earlier through the same checkpoint. Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) said the unnamed man was turned over to local law enforcement for the warrant and will be charged for drug possession and/or transportation for sale.

The other two passengers in the vehicle, a 26-year-old male and 31-year-old female, also had extensive criminal history with charges related to drug possession and sales. One of them was cited in this incident and both were subsequently released. (Editor’s Note: Yes, the CBP says they were “released.”)

Posted May 28, 2021

Border Patrol Agents Arrest a Gang Member and Two Child Sexual Predators

EDINBURG, Texas – Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a female 18th Street gang member, and two other illegal aliens previously convicted of sexual crimes involving children.

McAllen Border Patrol Station (MCS) agents working near Hidalgo, Texas, on May 26 arrested several aliens who had illegally entering the United States. One of those arrested was a Salvadoran adult female who admitted during processing that she was a member of the 18th Street gang.  [Related story, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell]

caution border crossers Rio Grande City Border Patrol Station agents apprehended a group of 10 illegals in Roma, Texas on May 27.  During processing, agents discovered one illegal alien, identified as Edwin Francisco Mejia-Iglesias, a national of El Salvador, who previously had been arrested in 2018 by the Tomball, Texas, Police Department for online solicitation of a minor for sexual conduct.  He was convicted and sentenced to six years probation.

Also on May 27, MCS agents apprehended another group of 10 “migrants” near Havana, Texas.  After the subjects were taken into custody and transported to the station, agents discovered one of the detainees, a Mexican national, previously had been arrested by police in Phoenix, Arizona in 2016 for sexual conduct with a minor. He was convicted and sentenced to five years incarceration. The Border Patrol did not release his name.

Editor’s Note: The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol no longer refers to people entering the U.S. illegally as illegal immigrants. They are now called “migrants” or “non-citizens.”

Law Enforcement Cooperation in Laredo Sector Leads to Arrest of Child Sex Offender Among 30 Illegals

LAREDO, TEXAS – While working with local law enforcement agencies, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested an individual with a criminal history of Sexual Assault of a Child southwest of Hebbronville, Texas.

On Feb. 3, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) unmanned aircraft system spotted a large group of people walking in the brush.  Agents — along with the Laredo Sector Horse Patrol Unit, a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Air Asset, and a CBP Air Unit — apprehended 30 individuals.  They were all determined to be illegally in the United States and were from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Illegals apprehended near Laredo, Texas

Record checks were conducted on all the individuals and identified one subject in the group as a child sex offender.  Eril Lainez-Corea, a 29-year old Honduran national had been arrested in 2018, convicted of Sexual Offense Against a Child-Fondling in Wauseon, Ohio, and sentenced to two years of probation.  His record further revealed that he had an extensive criminal history.

Lainez-Corea said he voted for Joe Biden and was released on his own recognizance. More seriously: Lainez-Corea is being held by the U.S. Border Patrol pending prosecution of his immigration violations.  He will be remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service.

Customs and Border Patrol Issues Region-Wide Order To Detain Products Made by Slave Labor in Xinjiang

WASHINGTON — Effective Jan. 13 at all U.S. ports of entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will detain cotton products and tomato products produced in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Chinese reportedly hold more than one million Muslims in concentration camps

The Communist Chinese government reportedly holds more than one million Uyghur Muslims in concentration or “reeducation” camps.

CBP issued a Withhold Release Order against cotton products and tomato products produced in Xinjiang based on information that reasonably indicates the use of detainee or prison labor and situations of forced labor. The agency identified the following forced labor indicators through the course of its investigation: debt bondage, restriction of movement, isolation, intimidation and threats, withholding of wages, and abusive living and working conditions.

“DHS will not tolerate forced labor of any kind in U.S. supply chains. We will continue to protect the American people and investigate credible allegations of forced labor; we will prevent goods made by forced labor from entering our country; and we demand the Chinese close their camps and stop their human rights violations,” said Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli.

“CBP will not tolerate the Chinese government’s exploitation of modern slavery to import goods into the United States below fair market value,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan. “Imports made on the cheap by using forced labor hurt American businesses that respect human rights and also expose unsuspecting consumers to unethical purchases.”

The Withhold Release Order, or WRO, directs CBP personnel at all U.S. ports of entry to detain cotton products and tomato products grown or produced by entities operating in Xinjiang. These products include apparel, textiles, tomato seeds, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and other goods made with cotton and tomatoes. Importers are responsible for ensuring the products they are attempting to import do not exploit forced labor at any point in their supply chain, including the production or harvesting of the raw material.  

In July 2020, the U.S. Government issued an advisory to caution businesses about the reputational, financial, and legal risks of forced labor in Xinjiang, where the Chinese government continues to execute a campaign of repression targeting the Uyghur people and other ethnic and religious minority groups. On December 2, 2020, CBP announced the issuance of a WRO on cotton and cotton products originating from the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, an economic and paramilitary organization subordinate to the Chinese Communist Party.

This is the fourth WRO that CBP has issued since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2021, and the second on products originating in Xinjiang. Eight of the 13 WRO that CBP issued in Fiscal Year 2020 were on goods made by forced labor in China. All WROs are publicly available and listed by country on CBP’s Forced Labor WROs and Findings webpage.

Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise produced, wholly or in part, by convict labor, forced labor, and/or indentured labor, including forced or indentured child labor. CBP detains shipments of goods suspected of being imported in violation of this statute. Importers of detained shipments have the opportunity to export their shipments or demonstrate that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.

CBP enforces the prohibition on importing goods made by forced labor. Any person or organization that has reason to believe merchandise produced with the use of forced labor is being, or likely to be, imported into the United States can report detailed allegations by contacting CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.

Source: Customs and Border Protection, Jan. 13, 2020.

Rio Grande Sector Border Patrol Agents Seize More Than 800 Pounds of Marijuana, Worth an Estimated $647,000

This is what about 800 pounds of marijuana looks like. This batch of pot was seized by BPD agents in Hidalgo, Texas, back in January 2018. (We assume the latest seizures weren’t as photogenic.)

EDINBURG, Texas– Over the weekend, Border Patrol agents interdicted multiple marijuana smuggling attempts, collecting a total of 810 pounds of pot with an estimated street value of $647,000.

The afternoon of Dec. 18, Brownsville Station agents in Texas observed multiple individuals near a Chevrolet Tahoe parked on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande. The Tahoe was then seen leaving the area and driving on Military Highway. Agents attempted to stop the vehicle, but the suspect failed to yield. Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers in the area, assisted Border Patrol by taking over pursuit.

The driver of the Tahoe changed direction and began driving towards the Rio Grande River. The suspect vehicle was eventually driven into the river, where it was partially submerged. The driver and a passenger were seen swimming into Mexico. Agents retrieved 15 bundles of marijuana weighing approximately 348 pounds, with an estimated value of $278,000. The marijuana and vehicle were turned over to DPS.

Later that day, Fort Brown Border Patrol agents in Brownsville were alerted to three subjects carrying bundles of suspected narcotics near Highway 4. Agents searched the area where the suspects were last seen and discovered three abandoned bundles of marijuana weighing about 114 pounds with an estimated street value of over $91,000. The suspects were not located.

The evening of Dec. 20, Rio Grande City agents working near El Refugio, Texas, observed a vehicle driving at a high rate of speed away from Rio Grande and onto the Expressway 83. Agents then observed the vehicle drive into a nearby neighborhood. The occupants of the vehicle were seen abandoning the vehicle and running into a nearby residence. Agents inspected the abandoned vehicle and found four large bundles of marijuana inside, weighing 348 pounds with an approximate value of $278,000. The suspects were later taken into custody by the Rio Grande City Police Department, which also received the pot and vehicle.

Customs and Border Protection Arrests Man Wanted for Child Sexual Assault

DALLAS – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officers at the Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport arrested a traveler wanted for sexual assault of a child, Nov. 22.

CBP officers intercepted Jose Alfaro, a 66-year-old U.S. citizen, as he disembarked a flight from El Salvador over the weekend.  A warrant out of Galveston,Texas was issued for Alfaro for aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first-degree felony.

2020-11-24 IAH - Back of CBPO working egress - EC6A1623 CBP officers arrested Alfaro and turned him over to the Texas Department of Public Safety at DFW Airport.  Charges and allegations contained in criminal complaints are merely accusations.  Suspects are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

“CBP officers are vigilant and trained to detect, identify and apprehend wanted suspects,” said Timothy Lemaux, Dallas Area Port Director. “As a law enforcement agency, our officers are committed to carrying out our mission of protecting our Nation.”

Border Patrol arrests sex offenders, criminal aliens in the Rio Grande Valley

EDINBURG, Texas – Over the weekend, Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol agents arrested three sex offenders and two members of violent criminal organizations.

Rio Grande City agents working near Roma, Texas, on Nov. 13 arrested a Guatemalan national, later identified as Amos Nemias Lopez-Ramirez, shortly after he illegally entered the United States. During processing, record checks revealed he is a confirmed Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang member. Records revealed he had previously been arrested in Virginia by the Harrisonburg Police Department for assault and sentenced to five years incarceration.

That same day, McAllen agents working in Los Ebanos, Texas, arrested a Guatemalan national whose record checks identified him as Jose Cottoc-Machic. Furthermore, agents discovered the man was previously arrested in Alabama by the Russellville Police Department and charged with sexual assault-rape 2nd degree. A judge sentenced Cottoc-Machic to eight years imprisonment but suspended his sentence to three months and five years probation.

The following morning, Falfurrias, Texas, agents arrested Jose Vasquez-Chavez, a Salvadoran national attempting to circumvent the immigration checkpoint. During processing, record checks revealed he had previously been arrested by the Katy Police Department for sexual assault of a child, convicted, and sentenced to two years confinement.

Later that evening, McAllen agents arrested a Mexican national, later identified as Fernando Jimenez-Rodriguez, after he illegally entered the United States.

Jose Tomas Vasquez-Chavez, convicted sex offender.

During processing, his record checks revealed a previous arrest by the Dallas Police Department for indecency with a child. Jimenez-Rodriguez received a two year prison sentence.

On Nov. 16, Rio Grande city agents on patrol near the Rio Grande in Roma, Texas, arrested a Mexican national after he was rafted across the river by a human smuggler. During processing, the man identified himself as a member of a criminal organization, Los Metros, which has been identified as a faction of the Gulf Cartel.

Yuma-area Border Patrol Agents arrest convicted child molester, two companions

YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma Station Border Patrol agents apprehended a male previously convicted of child molestation as he attempted to make illegal entry into the United States on Sept. 29.

Symbol of the Border Patrol, Yuma SectionAt approximately 3:40 p.m., agents working in the Imperial Sand Dunes area apprehended a group of three Mexican nationals. During processing, agents identified one subject who had various criminal and administrative convictions, including felony child molestation. He was removed from the United States in 2013 from Texas.

The man, whose name was not released, will be prosecuted for re-entry as a previously deported aggravated felon, the Border Patrol said. The other two Mexican nationals were arrested and returned to Mexico.

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

ICE, Border Patrol raid of Chaparral stash house results in 57 arrests

CHAPARRAL, N.M. – Continuing a recent trend, U.S. Border Patrol and ICE agents discovered a crowded stash house containing 48 illegal aliens last week.

El Paso Border Patrol Agents investigating a potential smuggling scheme encountered seven illegal aliens near the El Paso International Airport. The illegal aliens provided information that led to the discovery of four dozen other illegal aliens inside the stash house in Chaparral, New Mexico.

CPB, 2 agents at the border fence

Standing in front of a stretch of border wall.

Following the discovery, a lawfully admitted permanent resident and his wife were arrested on smuggling charges. The aliens from Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico also were arrested, making a total of 57 people taken into custody.

The Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deportation Officers (ICE-DO) took part in the arrests.

The stash house discovery comes on the heels of a recent take-down last month where 32 persons were found inside of an El Paso, Texas, stash house in the Lower Valley.

 “Border Patrol Agents, joined by HSI and ICE-DO identified a stash house with 48 illegal aliens inside a Chaparral, New Mexico residence,” stated El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “This incident demonstrates the continued exploitation by transnational criminal organizations who repeatedly use humans for profit regardless of the inherent risks including the potential for the spread of COVID-19 during the ongoing pandemic.”

Border Patrol seizes over 16 pounds of meth

SALTON CITY, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol Agents seized over 16 pounds of methamphetamine over the weekend in two separate events.

Border Patrol agents sidelined a commercial passenger bus as it approached the Highway 86 checkpoint on Sept. 26, directing it to secondary inspection area for an immigration inspection of its passengers. 

While in secondary inspection, agents noticed a man who appeared nervous and stuttering during his immigration interview. Agents received his consent to pat down his person for safety reasons. During the pat-down, an agent felt a stiff canvas-like material strapped to the man’s leg. When asked about it, the man admitted to having illegal drugs strapped to his thigh. Agents arrested the passenger, escorted him off the bus, and took him to the detention area for further processing. Agents safely removed a cellophane wrapped package duct-taped to the man’s thigh. The substance inside the package, which weighed about 1.14 pounds, tested positive for methamphetamine. The package of meth has an estimated value of $2,565. 

El Centro Sector agents turned over the passenger, a 28-year-old U.S. citizen, and the narcotics to the Border Crimes Suppression Team. 

methamphetamine powder The second incident occurred the afternoon of the following day when an individual near a campsite in Westmorland waved down a Border Patrol agent. The person said that a man driving a red off-road vehicle had abandoned a backpack and driven off as soon as he saw a marked Border Patrol vehicle approaching. Agents discovered multiple plastic-wrapped packages inside the backpack. Agents took the abandoned backpack and its contents to the Highway 86 checkpoint for processing. The substance inside the packages tested positive for the characteristics of methamphetamine.

The total weight of the meth was approximately 15.147 pounds, with an estimated value of $34,081. El Centro Sector agents turned over the narcotics to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.