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November 17, 09

NEWS / CBP Officers in Laredo Find Illegal Alien Hidden in Suitcase, 2 Arrested

Laredo, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Laredo port of entry processed large volumes of tourists on an extended Mexican holiday weekend and while maintaining their vigilance they uncovered 24 separate violations of immigration law.

The cases ranged from impostors to presenting fraudulent documents, false claims to U.S. citizenship, and several interceptions of persons who had entered the U.S. without being inspected.

The most remarkable interception occurred on Thursday, November 12 at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge. A CBP officer referred a 1998 Ford Explorer driven by Maria Candelaria Moreno, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen from Milwaukee, Wis. for a secondary examination.

During secondary examination, a baggage inspection revealed more than just clothes when CBP officers discovered a 31-year-old undocumented Mexican national hidden inside one of the suitcases. CBP officers arrested Candelaria Moreno and passenger Ricardo Moreno Esparza, a 30-year-old Mexican citizen on federal charges of aiding and abetting the illegal entry of an undocumented alien into the U.S. The undocumented was processed for expedited removal. CBP officers seized the vehicle.

This immigration violation enforcement activity occurred during a period of heavy traffic that started on November 12 in advance of the Día de Revolución holiday in Nuevo Laredo. CBP officers opened four additional lanes in the former import lot at Lincoln-Juarez Bridge and processed a total of 15,768 tourist permits over a four-day period. Normal tourist permit volumes average about 1,000 permits per day.

“Securing our borders while facilitating travel is a challenge our frontline officers face every day,” said Gene Garza, port director in Laredo, Texas. “I commend all our officers for their hard work and success during this busy weekend.”


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