CBP Officers Seize $1.4 Million in Hard Narcotics at Laredo Port of Entry

LAREDO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers seized hard narcotics in four separate, unrelated incidents that totaled over $1,400,000 in street value.

The first seizure occurred on June 28 at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge, after a CBP officer referred a 2007 Cadillac Escalade arriving from Mexico for a secondary inspection. Following inspection by a canine and a non-intrusive imaging system, officers discovered packages containing 7.8 pounds of alleged cocaine and packages containing 2.51 pounds of alleged methamphetamine within the drivers’ personal belongings.

Packages containing methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl valued at more than $958,000 seized by CBP officers at World Trade Bridge.

Packages containing methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl valued at more than $958,000 seized by CBP officers at World Trade Bridge.

The narcotics had an estimated street value of $110,444.

The second enforcement action that same day occurred at the World Trade Bridge, after CBP officers assigned to the cargo facility encountered a daily express consignment truck arriving from Mexico. The 2020 Freightliner and shipment were referred for a follow-up inspection that resulted in the discovery of 11.11 pounds of alleged methamphetamine within the shipment. The narcotics had an estimated street value of $222,223.

The third enforcement action occurred at the World Trade Bridge later that evening, after CBP officers encountered a tractor manifesting a shipment of plastic scrap arriving from Mexico. The 2020 International tractor and shipment were referred for a canine and non-intrusive imaging system inspection, resulting in the discovery of packages containing 19.75 pounds of alleged methamphetamine, 32.67 pounds of alleged cocaine and 22.88 pounds of alleged fentanyl within the shipment. The narcotics had an estimated street value of $958,404.

The fourth enforcement action occurred on June 29th at the World Trade Bridge after CBP officers encountered a daily express consignment truck arriving from Mexico. The 2011 Freightliner and shipment were referred for a canine and non-intrusive imaging system inspection, resulting in the discovery of 7.05 pounds of alleged methamphetamine within the shipment. The narcotics had an estimated street value of $141,094.

The four interceptions have a combined street value of $1,432,165.

CBP seized the narcotics. The cases were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.

“In an effort to secure our Nation’s borders, as these narcotics seizures clearly illustrate, CBP has implemented enforcement strategies that have furthered the disruption of dangerous drugs entering the country,” said Port Director Alberto Flores, Laredo Port of Entry.

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.”

Yuma Sector Canine Sniffs Out Fentanyl; Kingman Residents Involved

YUMA, Ariz. – A Yuma Sector canine working at the immigration checkpoint on Highway 78 near Blythe, Calif., on May 13 sniffed out a sandwich bag containing fentanyl pills hidden in a suitcase.

At approximately 8 a.m., Border Patrol agents referred a Toyota Prius to the checkpoint’s secondary inspection area following a canine alert. Agents determined that the four vehicle occupants were U.S. citizens from Kingman, Az. Three of them drove to Calexico, Calif., to pick up the fourth and they were in the process of heading back to Kingman when they drove through the checkpoint.

Border Patrol agents confiscated a sandwich bag containing fentanyl pills.
Border Patrol agents confiscated a sandwich bag containing fentanyl pills.

During a search of the vehicle, agents found a plastic bag containing 77 grams of fentanyl pills, worth approximately $1,800, in a suitcase that belonged to the 32-year-old female who was picked up in Calexico. Border agents arrested the woman and seized the fentanyl.

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine but 50 to 100 times more potent. Only two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal. The female smuggler possessed the equivalent of 77,000 milligrams of fentanyl, the Border Patrol said.

Posted May 17, 2021

AOC Berated, Falsely Accused Border Patrol Agent of Taking Selfies of Her, Memos Say

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) sobs at a fence supposedly caging illegal immigrant children, but actually next to an empty parking lot.

In this ‘photo op’ from June 24, 2019, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) sobs in front of a fence supposedly caging immigrant children ‘stolen’ from their parents. In reality, the other side of the fence is a parking lot (shown at bottom of this page). Photo: TheGatewayPundit.com

An “agitated and animated” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., began “pointing and screaming” at a female agent during a 2019 visit to a Border Patrol station in El Paso, Texas, according to government documents.

“I as a woman of color do not feel safe here,” Ocasio-Cortez told the female agent, according to an official memorandum that summarizes her comments, sometimes using quotation marks.

Ocasio-Cortez said the Border Patrol agent—whose name is redacted in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection documents—used her cellphone to take a photograph of herself with the New York congresswoman in the background.

Ocasio-Cortez went on “to personally admonish and berate” the agent and to insist that “that woman cannot work with children,” according to CBP memos resulting from a Border Patrol investigation of the incident.

Details of the episode are contained in nine pages of documents regarding the July 1, 2019, visit by Ocasio-Cortez and 13 other House Democrats to the Processing Command Center of the federal government’s El Paso station. At the time, Ocasio-Cortez had been in Congress just over six months.

The Daily Signal obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request to Customs and Border Protection, which operates the facility and other stations along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted later that day that a Border Patrol officer “attacked” her.

The female agent denied Ocasio-Cortez’s accusations, first to her supervisor and later in a written memo the same day. The agent’s supervisor reviewed the agent’s cellphone and found no photos that included Ocasio-Cortez, according to one memo.

Two other Border Patrol agents also said they didn’t see their colleague take any selfies, according to the documents.

The Daily Signal emailed Ocasio-Cortez’s Capitol Hill office for comment May 10, sending messages to two spokespersons as well as the main address for press inquiries. No one from the office had responded by the end of the day. The news website also asked Customs and Border Protection for any updated information on the matter, such as personnel hearings or disciplinary actions. CBP also did not respond immediately.

Most of the House members who visited the El Paso station were, like Ocasio-Cortez, part of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The lawmakers’ visit came during the emotionally charged period in which border officials separated children from adults, including their own family, after they unlawfully crossed the border from Mexico.

Ocasio-Cortez chose to skip much of the lawmakers’ tour of the facility and instead visited with female illegal immigrants in a separate area, according to the documents.

“During the briefing, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez began loudly knocking on the window of the processing area and alleged that a Border Patrol Agent (BPA) was taking a ‘selfie’ photo of her,” says one memo, dated July 2, 2019.

The Border Patrol agent in charge at the time sent this memo describing the 11:45 a.m. incident the day before to Aaron A. Hull, chief Border Patrol agent for the El Paso sector. CBP redacted the names of the accused Border Patrol agent and the agent in charge, as well as other agents mentioned in the memos.

“Rep. Ocasio-Cortez abruptly voiced an allegation that a female agent outside of the REDACTED had just taken a selfie with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez in the background,” the agent in charge said in another memo dated July 2 and sent to the acting agent in charge. “Rep. Ocasio-Cortez not only verbally voiced this concern, she became agitated and animated as she began to bang on the glass, pointing and screaming at the agent.”

“I excused myself from the briefing and addressed the female agent,” explaining what Ocasio-Cortez alleged, the agent in charge wrote. According to the memo, the accused agent “immediately denied taking any photo.”

The accused agent “did admit to having her cell phone in her hand and showed me the current image on the screen,” the agent in charge wrote. “The image appeared to me to be web-based and had nothing to do with interior photos of the detention area.”

According to the memo, the confrontation heated up after the agent in charge spoke with the accused agent. Ocasio-Cortez emerged “to personally admonish and berate” the female agent, “accusing her of unprofessional conduct and asking if she will have future contact with children,” the agent in charge wrote the next day.

“Rep. Ocasio-Cortez voiced that BPA REDACTED should have no contact with children, suggesting her unprofessional conduct (alleged photo) as the reason why,” the memo says.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted about the incident after it was leaked the same day to the Washington Examiner and the newspaper published a story. Until now, though, details and documents about the altercation have been scarce.

“And to these CBP officers saying they felt ‘threatened’ by me— They were literally discussing making a GoFundMe for an officer who attacked my [sic] on my tour,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. “They confiscated my phone, and they were all armed. I’m 5’4”. They’re just upset I exposed their inhumane behavior.”

It’s not clear whether Ocasio-Cortez, in mentioning the “officer who attacked,” was referring to the female Border Patrol agent whom she accused of taking a selfie with her in the background.

Besides spreading her allegations on Twitter personally, AOC’s staff got in the act. Her spokesman at the time, Corbin Trent, told The Washington Post for a story published the next day, that a Border Patrol agent was trying to take a “stealth selfie” and did so “in a mocking manner.”

The whole story is worth reading at The Daily Signal.

The real view on the other side of the fence AOC is sobbing against.

Shown above is the other side of the fence AOC is depicted at the top of the page sobbing against. Yes, it is a parking lot.

Posted May 11, 2021

Yuma Sector Sees Increased Apprehensions of Unaccompanied Juveniles Under 13

YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents are seeing an increase in juveniles under the age of 13 crossing the border by themselves in recent months, Customs and Border Patrol announced Feb. 17.

Since Jan. 1, agents have apprehended 28 unaccompanied “tender age children,” meaning children under the age of 13 that are not with a parent or guardian. That’s compared to 13 unaccompanied tender age children during the same time period in 2019. Tender age is a term used by the U.S. Border Patrol to describe children under the age of 13. The intent of defining tender age is to eliminate confusion and align USBP terminology with the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

The 28 unaccompanied children who have been apprehended since the start of the year came from Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

“The smuggling of children is extremely dangerous, and that danger exasperates when the child is sent on the journey alone,” said Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Chris T. Clem. “It further shows the continued disregard for human life by smuggling organizations by circumventing our laws and profiting on the vulnerabilities of these populations.”

Texas Customs and Border Patrol Officers Seize Nearly $1.9 Million in Narcotics in Three Seizures

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – In three separate enforcement actions this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Brownsville Port of Entry intercepted alleged narcotics that have a combined estimated street value of $1,892,620.

The first drug seizure took place on Sunday, Jan. 10, at the Veterans International Bridge at Brownsville when a 59-year-old male Mexican citizen from Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, applied for entry into the United States He was driving a 2007 Mercedes Benz autobus, which was referred to a CBP secondary examination station where, with the aid of a canine unit and a non-intrusive imaging system, CBP officers discovered 58 packages hidden within the autobus. 

Packages containing 67 pounds of cocaine seized by CBP officers at Brownsville, Texas, Port of Entry.

Packages containing 67 pounds of cocaine seized by CBP officers at Brownsville, Texas, Port of Entry.

Officers removed the packages, which contained a total of 67.18 pounds of alleged cocaine.

The second seizure took place on Thursday, Jan. 14, at the Gateway International Bridge when a 26-year-old female United States citizen from Edinburg, Texas, driving a 2000 Honda Accord applied for entry into the United States.  The vehicle was referred to secondary examination after a canine sniffing the vehicle alerted officers to something suspicious. With the aid of a non-intrusive imaging system, CBP officers discovered 20 packages hidden within the Honda Accord, which contained a total of 23.32 pounds of alleged methamphetamine.

The third seizure took place on Friday, Jan. 15, at the Gateway International Bridge when a 18-year-old male United States citizen from Brownsville, Texas, applied for entry into the United States as the driver of a 2008 Dodge Avenger.  The vehicle was referred to CBP secondary for further examination after a primary inspection.  In secondary, with the aid of a canine unit and a non-intrusive imaging system, CBP officers discovered 11 packages hidden within the Dodge Avenger which contained a total of 27.69 pounds of alleged cocaine and one package which contained a total of 3.52 pounds of alleged meth.

The estimated street value of the narcotics from the seizures is approximately $1,142,060, $466,493 and $284,067, respectively, for a total of nearly $1.9 million.

CBP officers seized the narcotics along with the vehicles, arrested the drivers and turned them over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation.

“Our CBP officers’ hard work and dedication has led to these significant narcotics seizures and our streets are safer for it,” said Port Director Tater Ortiz, Brownsville Port of Entry.

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.

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.”

Tucson Border Patrol Agents Arrest Felon With Homicide Conviction, 28 Others

TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Border Patrol agents in Arizona apprehended a group of 29 illegal aliens, including a convicted murderer, near the international border with Mexico the evening of Nov. 17.

Tucson Sector agents observed the group about eight miles north of the border in the Mesquite Mountains, located on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. Agents caught up with the group and wound up arresting one Honduran, three Guatemalan, and 25 Mexican nationals, all illegally present in the United States. The group, all males, ranged in age from 15 to 41.

Records checks revealed one of the Mexican men, 31-year-old Carlos Lopez-Vazquez, was a previously removed felon, convicted of reckless homicide in Marion County, Indiana, in 2010 and sentenced to four years of confinement for his crime.

Carlos Lopez-Vaquez, convicted of homicide
Carlos Lopez-Vaquez, convicted of homicide, arrested after crossing the border

Lopez now faces federal immigration charges. The rest of the group was expelled from the country under Title 42 authority.

All people apprehended by the Border Patrol undergo criminal history checks using biometrics to ensure illegal aliens with criminal histories are positively identified.