Calexico CBP Officer Assaulted by SENTRI Trusted Traveler

Calexico, Calif. — In addition to preventing more than 380 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of more than $230,000 from entering the country, U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico West Port of Entry in California arrested a Mexican citizen enrolled in the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) program for assaulting a CBP officer yesterday.

Thirty bundles of marijuana with an estimated street value of more than $230,000 in the trunks of a 1994 white Toyota Camry driven by a 46-year-old female Mexican citizen. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
Thirty bundles of marijuana with an estimated street value of more than $230,000 in the trunks of a 1994 white Toyota Camry driven by a 46-year-old female Mexican citizen. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

On Nov. 4, at approximately 1:30 p.m., a 26-year-old female Mexican citizen enrolled in the SENTRI trusted traveler program applied for entry at the designated SENTRI pedestrian lane accompanied by her three-year-old daughter. The woman presented her SENTRI card and stated she forgot her daughter’s. She was referred for a more in-depth inspection and verification of the child’s identity.

In the inspection area, the woman began raising her voice at CBP officers and refused to comply with instructions. During her inspection, she struck a CBP officer in the jaw with her elbow. The woman was then restrained and placed in a holding cell.

In addition to being charged for assaulting a CBP officer, the women will have her SENTRI program privileges revoked. Her three-year-old daughter was turned over to the custody of her grandmother.

“We require our CBP officers to treat the travelling public with respect, and train them to maintain their professionalism as they perform their duties,” said Calexico Port Director Billy Whitford. “Although CBP officers deal with verbally abusive travelers at times without incident, physical abuse will not be tolerated.”

Also on Nov. 4, at approximately 5:05 p.m., a 1994 white Toyota Camry driven by a 46-year-old female Mexican citizen applied for admission into the U.S. During the primary inspection a CBP officer asked her to open the trunk of her vehicle and she said it wasn’t functional which lead the CBP officer to pull down the back seats of the vehicle revealing 30 packages of marijuana tightly packed into the trunk. The woman was placed under arrest and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for prosecution.