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CBP Officers at El Paso Ports Discover Numerous Violations

(Friday, September 05, 2008)

El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at ports of entry in El Paso, Texas and New Mexico border crossings seized thousands of pounds of illegal narcotics, detected dozens of immigration violations, apprehended fugitives and seized numerous prohibited agriculture items this week.

In the last seven days, area CBP officers uncovered 110 immigration violations. Imposters continue to be the largest group of violators. A total of 58 were identified through thorough document exams and officer interviews. Imposters generally will use a valid entry document assigned to another person and present it as their own. CBP officers this week also intercepted 34 intended immigrants. In these cases, individuals will use a legally issued border-crossing card (DSP 150 -laser visa) to live and work in the United States, which is not authorized. In these cases, violators are returned to Mexico and their documents are removed. CBP officers also recorded 11 cases of people making false claims to U. S. citizenship, people attempting to enter with counterfeit documents, and people attempting to enter without inspection.

In addition to the immigration violations, area CBP officers made 17 drug seizures during the past week. CBP officers kept 1,820 pounds of marijuana out of the U.S. and sent 17 individuals to jail.

This is a fine example of the vigilance of our CBP officers, said William Molaski, Acting El Paso Port Director. While conducting our primary mission of anti-terrorism, CBP is also watchful and alert for other violations.

Area CBP officers made 14 seizures of prohibited food and agriculture items this week, resulting in $3,375 in penalties collected. Prohibited items seized this week included pork bologna, oranges, apples, guavas, pears, and pomegranates. CBP encourages the traveling public to properly declare all items from abroad in order to avoid stiff penalties. First time violations can lead up to a $300 fine.

CBP officers this week also apprehended 28 fugitives and issued penalties in excess of $9,000 for import and export violations.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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