Six Recent Unusual Seizures at Calif. Border

SAN DIEGO— Everyday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry along the California/Mexico border work diligently to secure the nation’s border and stop illegal activity. While well known for seizing narcotics and stopping people from illegally entering the United States, these officers are also responsible for enforcing hundreds of other federal, state, and local laws. Here are just some of the unusual illegal activities officers recently stopped:

Live Canaries
November 30, at about 5:15 p.m., CBP officers at the Tecate border crossing referred an 85-year-old female Mexican citizen, and resident of Tecate, Mexico, for a more intensive inspection. When the driver exited her vehicle as part of the inspection process, she was carrying a cage, covered in a towel, with two live canaries inside. CBP officers seized the undeclared birds; the driver paid a $300 penalty. For more information about bringing birds and other animals into the U.S., please see the CBP brochure “Bringing Pets and Wildlife into the United States.”
Alcohol in Spare Tire
December 8, at about 2:15 p.m., CBP officers at the Otay Mesa border crossing pulled aside a gold GMC Suburban driven by a 58-year-old male Mexican citizen, and resident of Wilmington, Calif. During inspection, officers discovered 15 bottles of alcohol hidden inside the vehicle’s spare tire. The driver paid a $562 penalty for his smuggling attempt.
“Weight-Loss” Drug
December 8, at about 2:45 p.m., CBP officers at the Andrade border crossing stopped a 58-year-old female Canadian citizen after she failed to declare the four medication bottles in her purse. Officers determined the bottles contained 400 15mg capsules of a drug prescribed for obese patients to assist with weight-loss, worth an estimated $2,330 in the U.S. CBP seized the medication and fined the traveler.
Wooden License Plate
December 9, at about 3:45 p.m., a detector dog alerted to a tan 2004 Dodge Ram, driven by a 30-year-old male U.S. citizen and resident of San Diego, waiting in line to enter the United States. During their inspection, officers discovered that the pickup not only contained two people, hidden in the truck’s cab under a sheet, but also that the vehicle had a wooden license plate, painted to look like a normal California license plate, then placed behind a tinted plastic cover. CBP officers determined that the two people hidden behind the cab’s backseat were illegal immigrants from Mexico, one with an active, no-bail warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department for a drug-related crime. Officers arrested all three vehicle occupants.
Marijuana in Laundry Detergent Box
December 21, at about 6:00 a.m., a 40-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a blue 1993 Ford Thunderbird applied for admission to the U.S. at the San Ysidro border crossing.  During the interview and inspection, a CBP officer discovered a laundry detergent box in the backseat of the vehicle with a package hidden inside.  The package contained slightly more than one pound of marijuana.  Officers seized the vehicle and narcotics, and turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Anabolic Steroids and Syringes Strapped to Thighs, Stuffed in Socks
December 22, CBP Officers at the San Ysidro border crossing referred a 37-year-old male, U.S. citizen, and resident of San Fernando, Calif. for a more intensive inspection, where they found
steroids taped to his thighs and hidden in his socks. In total, CBP officers discovered 30 ml and 12 ml of two different injectable steroids, 100 tablets of another steroid, and 36 syringes. CBP officers seized the steroids and syringes, and assessed a $14,130 penalty for the smuggling attempt.