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August 31, 09

NEWS / CBP Officers Find Cocaine Strapped to Female Border Crosser

El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso, Texas port of entry seized five pounds of cocaine yesterday morning. The seizure was one of 18 drug busts CBP officers in El Paso made this week including 16 marijuana seizures resulting in the confiscation of 751 pounds and two cocaine loads weighing a total of 10 pounds.

The Thursday cocaine seizure was made in the pedestrian inspection area of the Bridge of the Americas just before 10 a.m. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth noticed an unusual bulge in the midsection of a female border crosser. The woman was selected for a secondary exam during which CBP officers located two cocaine-filled bundles held against her waist by medical gauze. The contents of the bundles tested positive for cocaine.

CBP officers arrested 48-year-old Bertha Martinez Ruiz of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents after the case was accepted for federal prosecution. Martinez was booked into the El Paso County Jail and is currently being held without bond.

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 25 seizures of agricultural items during the previous seven days. Violators paid $6,225 in penalties in association with the violations. Prohibited food products seized during the last week included pork, chorizo, bologna, raw chicken, fresh eggs, mangos, apples, quince, guavas, figs, apples, oranges, pomegranates, sugar cane, and live plants.

CBP officers recorded 165 immigration violations at area ports this week including 66 imposters because of thorough document exams. 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 53 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 also identified 46 people who made false claims to U.S. citizenship, attempted to enter with counterfeit or altered documents, those who entered without inspection, and visa overstay violations.

CBP officers working at area ports made a total of 23 fugitive apprehensions during the previous seven days. 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.


Tags: document,


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