U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Laredo port of entry seized rifles, handguns, ammunition, 10 pounds of cocaine, and arrested nine individuals for alleged immigration violations as part of enforcement actions carried out during the Fourth of July holiday weekend at international crossings.
One of the most notable of the enforcement actions occurred on Saturday, July 3, at the Lincoln Juarez International Bridge when CBP Field Operations officers and Border Patrol agents conducting outbound (southbound) inspections referred a 2002 Ford Focus driven by a 39-year-old male U.S. citizen from Killeen, Texas for a random secondary inspection. At secondary, CBP officers and agents conducted an intensive examination of the vehicle that led to the discovery of six rifles, two handguns, a pair of night vision goggles, six ammunition magazines, and 6,319 rounds of assorted ammunition within the vehicle. CBP arrested the driver, seized the vehicle, firearms, and ammunition and turned them all over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents for further investigation.
Another notable interception that transpired on the same date came about as CBP officers were processing commercial bus passengers also at the Lincoln-Juarez International Bridge. CBP officers came upon a 28-year-old Mexican citizen from Payallup, Washington who was applying for admission to enter the U.S. as a passenger on a commercial bus. A CBP officer referred the man and his baggage for a secondary inspection. As a result of the inspection, CBP officers discovered four bundles within the man’s baggage that contained a total of 10 pounds of cocaine. The cocaine has an estimated street value of $320,000. The man was arrested by CBP officers who also seized the cocaine and turned them over to ICE special agents who were continuing the investigation in this case.
The interception of the alleged immigration violations occurred in nine separate enforcement actions at the Laredo international bridges. The cases included one imposter to a border crossing card, three imposters to legal permanent resident cards, three U.S. birth certificate imposters, one case involving the use of counterfeit documents and one other case in which a Mexican citizen attempted to depart the U.S. to Mexico, without having legal documents to be in the U.S. CBP officers processed each of the cases for the nine alleged immigration violators and charged them with various violations of the nation’s immigration laws.
“Our CBP mission to protect our borders is clear and our officers work hard to ensure that our mission is carried out within our complex work environments,” said Gene Garza, port director, Laredo, Texas. “Making sure that travelers, baggage, vehicles and items entering or leaving our country are legitimate is what they are dedicated to doing as evidenced by these enforcement actions both northbound and southbound.”
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.