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October 9, 09

NEWS / CBP Officers at El Paso Ports Apprehend 27 Fugitives


El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas and New Mexico apprehended 27 wanted people this week. CBP officers also seized drugs, identified immigrations violations, and intercepted prohibited agricultural products during the previous seven days.


“CBP officers remain thorough and vigilant in their inspections,” said Ana Hinojosa, director of field operations in El Paso. “Their attention to detail helped them identify more than two dozen wanted people attempting to enter the U.S. at area ports. These types of apprehensions are something we see regularly because of the commitment of our officers.”


During the past week, area CBP officers apprehended people wanted for a variety of offenses. Included in the list were a military deserter, people facing larceny and burglary charges, those sought on drug charges, and a variety of other offenses.


In addition to the fugitive apprehensions, area CBP officers were busy performing their anti-terror mission and associated enforcement responsibilities. CBP officers made 14 seizures of prohibited agricultural items during the previous seven days. Violators paid $2,950 in penalties in association with the violations.


“A large number of the people who were assessed penalties were importing apples, probably because they are now ripening and being harvested in larger than normal numbers,” said Hinojosa. “We want to remind members of the public that they need to declare all agricultural items and by doing so they can avoid penalties if their products are prohibited.”


CBP officers this week seized apples, avocados, sugar cane, pomegranates, guavas, sweet potatoes, pork, chorizo and bologna. Dozens of other properly declared yet prohibited agricultural items were abandoned at area ports with no penalties being assessed.


CBP officers recorded 85 immigration violations this week including 24 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 stopped 36 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. Area CBP officers also identified 25 people who made false claims to U.S. citizenship, attempted to enter with counterfeit or altered documents, and those who entered without inspection.


CBP officers at El Paso area ports of entry this week also recovered a stolen vehicle and seized prohibited crocodile skin boots and belts (turned over to the Department of Agriculture). 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.

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/10092009_2.xml

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